The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state in northern Europe which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is governed under a constitutional monarchy and a democratic parliamentary system made up of two houses; an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. It has a population of more than 62 million and has the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP. It is predominantly a Christian country, although successive waves of migration have contributed to the growth of other faiths. It is a member of the European Union as well as the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, G7, G8, G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization.
British troops may return from Afghanistan earlier
British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is considering bringing some British troops back from Afghanistan earlier than expected, he said in an interview published on Thursday.
“I think that the message I am getting clearly from the military is that it might be possible to draw down further troops next year,” Hammond told <I>The Guardian</I> in an interview at Camp Bastion in Helmand province.
Hammond said that six months ago the military was privately pushing “for keeping force levels as high as possible for as long as possible”.
But he said “I think there is a bit of a rethinking going on about how many troops we do actually need – there may be some scope for a little bit more flexibility on the way we draw down.”
The British government has said it intends to pull out all its 9,500 combat troops by the end of 2014.