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Troop surge to break Afghan 'stalemate' - Asia, World - The Independent

British forces in southern Afghanistan are locked in a "stalemate" with Taliban insurgents and they need tens of thousands of reinforcements to win, the American commander of Nato forces in the country said yesterday.

The extra troops would be used in a radical overhaul of Western strategy in the country next year - a period described as a "defining moment" in the ongoing war. The Independent revealed two months ago that General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army, believed a surge of up to 30,000 extra troops was needed to fight the Taliban.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 03:15:57 PM EST
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Oh god, they so don't get it. another example of truth only being possible when no longer in office below.

Guardian - Patrick Wintour - Ex-minister slates UK policy on Afghanistan

The former Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Afghanistan yesterday accused the country of being corrupt "from top to bottom", and said the international community had wrongly treated President Hamid Karzai with kid gloves.

The criticism came from Kim Howells, who was in charge of the Afghanistan brief for three-and-a-half years until he stepped down as a foreign affairs minister in the October government reshuffle. The remarks reflect his considered judgment on what has been described as the most difficult foreign policy challenge facing the UK government and its armed forces.

Breaking his silence on the issue, he told MPs: "Institutionally, Afghanistan is corrupt from top to bottom. There are few signs that the chaotic hegemony of warlords, gangsters, presidential placemen, incompetent and under-resourced provincial governors and self-serving government ministers has been challenged in any effective way by President Karzai.

"On the contrary, those individuals appear to be thriving, not least because Hamid Karzai has convinced himself that he cannot afford to sack or challenge the strongmen who, through corruption, brutality, power of arms or tribal status are capable of controlling their territories and fiefdoms."

Howells told the Guardian that Karzai had repeatedly put pressure on the Foreign Office not to back the dismissal of corrupt and brutal provincial governors.

He told MPs that British public support for the war in Afghanistan was fragile. The government, he said, "will be asked, quite properly, why the lives of our service personnel should be risked ... We will be asked why we are fighting to preserve what looks remarkably like a regime that is being undermined by corrupt cliques that have access to the highest levels."

He said the government had to change its "daft" rhetoric on the war. "Forget the nonsense about being prepared to fight on the mountains and plains of Afghanistan for 30 years. People will not accept the notion that British families should send their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters to risk their lives fighting religious fanatics, tribal nationalists, corrupt warlords and heroin traffickers in one of the most godforsaken terrains on the face of the earth. The notion is daft, however much we may try to rationalise it by arguing that it is better to fight al-Qaeda over there than over here."



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 05:19:56 PM EST
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Light at the end of the tunnel, blah blah blah.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 07:18:28 PM EST
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Good find, Helen.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 02:20:16 AM EST
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