Denmark to Withdraw Troops from Afghanistan

14 April 2010 (Last Updated April 14th, 2010 18:30)

The Danish Government will cut the number of troops operating in Afghanistan in 2011 as part of country's new disengagement strategy, according to Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen. Espersen said the new strategy allowed Danish forces to play a less direct, and more supportive and tra

The Danish Government will cut the number of troops operating in Afghanistan in 2011 as part of country's new disengagement strategy, according to Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen.

Espersen said the new strategy allowed Danish forces to play a less direct, and more supportive and training role, enabling a reduction in military engagement to the benefit of civil reconstruction efforts, according to the Frontier Post.

“Denmark does not plan to stay in Afghanistan longer than is necessary," she said. "We will not withdraw before making sure that the Afghan population can live in peace and security."

As part of the International Security Assistance Force, Denmark deployed around 750 soldiers to Afghanistan, mostly based in the southern Helmand province under British command.

As Danish forces prepare to withdraw their active operational role, the government will focus on training an Afghan battalion to be deployed in the Danish sector of Helmand.

The withdrawal date will be set depending on the development of the situation in Helmand province and at what rate the progress on the security plan is realised, the foreign minister said.