France’s Socialists Promise To Withdraw French Troops From Afghanistan By 2013

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the top defense aide to French Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande, said in an interview today that if Hollande is elected, France will withdraw all of its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, two years ahead of the planned timetable. “NATO has announced a withdrawal date of 2014. We believe it’s time to leave now,” said Le Drian, adding, “I can’t say I was greeted with cheers of applause in London or the United States but I don’t think on the other hand that either of those two parties was surprised either.” Polls indicate that Hollande has a good chance at defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with a recent poll showing Hollande’s approval rating rising higher than Sarkozy’s. (HT: Steve Hynd)