French president, Nicholas Sarkozy at a recent press conference with Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, announced France’s decision to fully withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013; a reversal from the country’s previous decision to work within the timeframe of 2014, specified by NATO forces. This decision comes in the wake of four unarmed French troops recently killed by Taliban infiltrators in the army. With mission fatigue brewing amongst all key players in Afghanistan, Sarkozy’s abrupt announcement can have adverse effects on invested European players like Britain, Italy and Germany and create complications for NATO withdrawal. U.S. troops meanwhile continue to stick to their initial timeframe of training Afghan forces, planning a withdrawal in 2014 and preparing for a smooth transition of authority. France will pull out 1000 of its current 3,600 soldiers by 2012 (the previous target was 600) and fully withdraw all combat troops by the end of 2013. Afghan forces have already taken control of half of the country’s security but their performance remains severely wanting. The U.S., the largest military presence in Afghanistan, will pull out 33,000 troops by the end of 2012. Sarkozy expressed a desire to see more development and civilian projects replace the international military footprint in Afghanistan, which would eventually expedite and reduce military might in the region. While Karzai agreed, he implied that the proposal was certainly ambitious. Britain continues with its withdrawal of all 9,500 troops for 2014 and has made long-term plans for no combat role. Germany too complies with the international decision. French analysts claim that recent announcements by Sarkozy may just be an attempt to gain support, with French elections looming in the near future.