Coalition Forces to Withdraw 40,000 from Afghanistan

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More Afghan forces will be placed on the front lines as foreign troops start to leave the country, after ten years of war against the Taliban.

Up to 40,000 foreign troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

The draw down will remove 33,000 American soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition as well as troops from more than a dozen other countries.

The U.S. withdrawal will reduce the American military presence by one-third. More than 101,000 U.S. troops were in Afghanistan in June, according to the Pentagon.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings Jr. said the cutbacks will not affect the coalition's ability to fight the insurgency.

"We are getting more Afghans into the field and we are transferring more responsibility to them in many areas," Cummings said.

However, many Afghans fear the transition could lead their nation into civil war. They don't believe that the Afghan army and police can guarantee the country's security after the foreigners leave.

Many also fear the country's economy will take a nose dive when promised foreign aid disappears.

But some countries in the coalition are vowing to have a continued military presence in Afghanistan.

They say they will continue to train the Afghan police and army in the years to come and will also continue to send aid to the country after the international combat mission ends in 2014.

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