‘Bring our troops back home’

Tug Wilson

Tug Wilson

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A HARTLEPOOL services organisation has called for politicians to pull British troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Tug Wilson, secretary of Hartlepool Combined Services Association, says soldiers should be withdrawn as soon as they have achieved their mission.

His comments come as America announced it is to withdraw thousands of troops over the next year.

War veteran Mr Wilson, from Rift House, Hartlepool, said: “It is all down to the politicians. The soldiers just go there and do what they are told to within the confines laid on them.

“If they think that we have achieved what we were sent there to do then yes, get the lads back.”

US President Barack Obama announced that 33,000 US troops would be brought home by the end of next summer.

Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister David Cameron to follow suit, but the Government said troop numbers will be decided independently of America depending on the situation on the ground.

BA new assessment of how quickly British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan will be carried out in the coming weeks.

But Mr Wilson, who is also chairman of the Hartlepool branch of the Royal Artillery Association, is fearful any troops pulled out of Afghanistan could soon be deployed to other conflicts such as Libya or Syria.

The Falklands War veteran added: “We are not a big army now, but we are still taking on all these commitments.

“The armed services have been cut right back and the senior officers are saying they are at their limit.

“Will they be pulled out of one area and sent to another place?”

Britain’s current timetable for ceasing combat operations in Afghanistan is 2015.

l WHAT do you think? Do you have friends or family fighting in Afghanistan? Contact the Mail newsdesk on (01429) 239380.