(Newsroom America) -- U.S.-led NATO forces may withdraw from Afghanistan before the end of 2014, when all forces are scheduled to pull out, because an increase in so-called "insider attacks" are hurting Western morale, reports said Tuesday.
"From now until the end of 2014 we will see announcements of redeployments, withdrawals or drawdown," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told The Guardian, a British newspaper.
"If the security situation allows, I would not exclude the possibility that in certain areas you could accelerate the [withdrawal] process," he said.
NATO has a total of about 120,000 troops in Afghanistan, 68,000 of which are Americans.
Rasmussen said a final decision on a timeline to withdraw forces would be made following military recommendations from Marine four-star Gen. John R. Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan.
"Political decisions will be taken, based on his recommendations, as to how we will adapt to the transfer of lead responsibility to the Afghans," he said. "The pace will very much depend on the security situation on the ground."
His comments come amid a dramatic increase in "green on blue" attacks, green being the U.S. military's designation for indigenous forces and blue referring to its own troops. Rasmussen acknowledged the killings of at least 52 allied troops this year by Afghan security forces who turned their weapons on NATO forces.
"There's no doubt insider attacks have undermined trust and confidence, absolutely," he said.
France has already announced it will pull its troops out by the end of next year, a full year ahead of schedule. Paris made its decision following the killing of four of its soldiers by an insider attack in January.
© 2012 Newsroom America.