UK aims to start Helmand handover next year By James Blitz in London Published: November 10 2009 18:52 | Last updated: November 10 2009 18:52 Gordon Brown revealed on Tuesday that Britain was seeking to hand control of two districts in Afghanistanâs Helmand province to the Afghan national army over the next eight months. The prime minister disclosed that the UK hoped the Afghan forces would take control of the districts by the middle of 2010, as he prepares for Barack Obama, the US president, to outline his new strategy for Afghanistan. Whitehall officials have not identified the districts that might be run by Afghanistanâs own forces next year but there is speculation that they could include the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, where the British task force has its headquarters. Mr Brown said at a Downing Street press conference: âWe want to be in a position where a number of the districts of Helmand over the course of the next year are not only filled with Afghan forces able to do the job, but that we transfer political control . . . [to] the Afghan people.â Mr Brown added: âWe think by mid-next year probably two parts of Helmand can be transferred from our side, from our responsibility, and of course the Americans will be thinking likewise in the areas for which they have responsibility.â More http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/30937280-ce27-11de-a1ea-00144feabdc0.html?