General urges Britain to aid Afghanistan

The UK's military deployment in Afghanistan is not "the most important part of our contribution" and is only the "supporting element to wider governance and development operations" in the country, the head of Britain's military has stressed.

Writing in The Independent, General Sir David Richards says the end of combat operations in 2014 will not be the end of the UK commitment. "Alternative livelihoods and development assistance are as important," he says, adding that the Government must not wait until 2014 before pouring more aid into such things as diversifying agriculture from poppies to pomegranates and mining.