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First 200 French soldiers to leave Afghanistan

The first 200 French soldiers were due to leave Afghanistan on Wednesday, kickstarting troop withdrawals announced three months ago by Paris as part of NATO plans to wind down its combat mission by 2014. A further 200 French soldiers are due to return home before Christmas, with another 600 leaving in 2012, ahead of a full…

Obama to claim success for Afghan surge

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama will argue Wednesday his Afghan war surge strategy has forged substantial progress and a “position of strength” which allows thousands of US troops to come home, officials said. In a primetime speech to a war-weary US public, Obama will say his decision to pour…