The U.S. has officially announced it is pulling 33,000 out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012.
In addition, over a dozen other nations will drawdown, according to Military Times, which will shrink the Coalition footprint in Afghanistan by a total of 40,000 troops by this time next year.
Afghan forces will increasingly be on the front lines, and alone, against the Taliban and its allies in the decade-long war.--------
The United States is removing by far the most troops from the Afghan theater of any country involved. About one-third of 101,000 American troops who were in Afghanistan this past June will return home to the U.S.
Members of the 49-nation Coalition insist that politics are not driving their decisions to drawdown, and they claim they will continue to support and assist Afghani allies. Training and support missions will likely continue at varying levels among the NATO countries, and many have pledged to keep sending aid to the impoverished country after the international combat mission ends in 2014.
Still, the exit is making Afghans nervous.
They fear their nation could plunge into civil war once the foreign forces go home. Their confidence in the Afghan security forces has risen, but they don't share the U.S.-led coalition's stated belief that the Afghan soldiers and police will be ready to secure the entire nation in three years. Others worry the Afghan economy will collapse if foreigners leave and donors get stingy with aid.