British troops could be in Afghanistan 'for years'

Indo Asian News Service

London, Jan 17 (IANS) Even after the official withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014, British soldiers could be "embedded" with Afghans fighting insurgents for "years", the opposition Labour party has said.

Labour will call on Prime Minister David Cameron to detail the country's exit strategy, the Telegraph reported.

The prime minister has said that no troops will be left in Afghanistan in a combat role after 2014.

However, ministers have refused to give details of what will be expected of the armed forces after 2014, what equipment will be left behind, and how much the longer mission could cost.

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said the British deployment to Afghanistan, including mentors, advisers, force protection, and logistical support personnel, could be "significant".

"British forces may still be embedded with Afghan forces post 2014, continuing to put themselves in harm's way," Murphy said.

"There is an impression that 'non combat' means 'free of danger', but in fact those who remain post 2014 will continue to be exposed to risk, and risk that has the potential to escalate as transition gathers pace."