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Updated: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 02:51:49 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

Canada's last troops soon to leave Afghanistan



FILE - In this Saturday, July 16, 2011 file photo Canadians soldiers load baggage on the back of a truck at Kandahar airbase in Afghanistan. Canada withdrew 2,850 combat forces from Afghanistan this summer; (© AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool/file)

FILE - In this Saturday, July 16, 2011 file photo Canadians soldiers load baggage on the back of a truck at Kandahar airbase in Afghanistan. Canada withdrew 2,850 combat forces from Afghanistan this summer; (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool/file) Rafiq Maqbool/The Associated Press

Canada's flag comes down today over the military mission in Kabul and the last troops will soon be out of the country.

Graeme Smith, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, says the departure of almost all NATO troops this year means Afghan forces will fight on alone, but will still need significant financial backing from the West.

Smith says western forces are leaving a security, economic and humanitarian mess.

Britain's top military commander says the departure of the last Canadian troops from Afghanistan will no doubt prompt a lot of reflection.

But General Sir Nick Houghton, whose troops will stay until the end of the year, says no one should rush to judgment.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Houghton said the objective of expelling al-Qaeda was achieved, but the public narrative was hijacked towards nation-building.

He says that's where it becomes less clear cut.

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