STAND DOWN

Sarkozy to Ask for 2013 Afghan Withdrawal

NATO should hand over all combat operations in Afghanistan to the Afghan military by next year, France’s president said Friday. The announcement comes a week after four French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and breaks with previous U.S-backed plans to withdraw from the country in 2014. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that President Barack Obama has been made aware of France’s plan to ask NATO for a speedier drawdown of the 10-year involvement of foreign troops in Afghanistan.