Senior American military figures have warned Britain that a hasty exit from Afghanistan could strain relations between the two countries.

The Daily Telegraph last week revealed that David Cameron has ordered British commanders to draw up plans to start pulling hundreds of British troops out of Afghanistan within weeks.

The Prime Minister is expected to discuss a co-ordinated Afghan withdrawal in London next week.

The prospect of an imminent British withdrawal is understood to have alarmed American generals, who are trying to resist political pressure for a major reduction in US troop numbers.

Well-placed sources said that US generals have delivered a blunt warning to their British counterparts about the impact of an early UK withdrawal.

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