In Britain opposition MPs asked why Mr Hammond failed to mention such a significant change in strategy when he was called before the House of Commons on Monday to answer an urgent question on security in Afghanistan.
Coalition commanders believe few of the attacks are directly caused by the Taliban, but the scale of the problem and steady flow of deaths has already begun to undermine domestic support for the lengthy campaign.
Bob Stewart, the Conservative MP who commanded UN troops in Bosnia as an Army colonel, welcomed the decision to scale back mentoring work with Afghan troops and police.
He said Afghan vetting procedures to try and root out potential assassins were clearly not working.
He added: “I really feel for soldiers who are sent out to do this job.
“I have been in that sort of position myself and it is terrifying.” GLUE two CDs together so they are back-to-back. Play one side, then flip it over and play the other – like your
old vinyl records.
KILLED: Sgt Gareth Thursby ( and Pte
Thomas Wroe were shot dead in Helmand province last weekend THREAT: Afghan