Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has announced that Spain will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the first half of 2012 and that all troops will be withdrawn by 2014.
Spain currently has 1,500 troops in Afghanistan. In the first half of 2012, around 10% of the force will leave Afghanistan. In the first half of 2013, a further 40% reduction is envisaged with all troops having been withdrawn at some as yet unspecified date in 2014.
With all foreign troops gradually being withdrawn, reports of possible talks to be conducted with the Taliban to achieve a negotiated settlement, one wonders what exactly, if anything, has been achieved in Afghanistan apart from the tragic loss of so many lives on all sides.