US: Taliban can be beaten
Wednesday 08 October 2008
Britain's military commander and ambassador in Afghanistan are being "defeatist" by thinking the war against the Taliban cannot be won, the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, said as Washington sought more troops for the conflict.
Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith had said that the war could not be won and that the goal was to shrink the insurgency so it was no longer a strategic threat and could be dealt with by the Afghan army. Britain's ambassador, Sherard Cowper-Coles, saw an "acceptable dictator" as the best solution, with a troop surge only creating more targets for the Taliban. Their comments were echoed by the top UN official in Kabul, Kai Eide, who said success was only possible through dialogue and political efforts.
Security, however, has deteriorated markedly in the country over the past two years. "There certainly is no reason to be defeatist or to underestimate the opportunities to be successful in the long run," Mr Gates said yesterday on his way to Europe to meet defence ministers. He said: "Part of the solution is strengthening the Afghan security forces," adding that he would negotiate with members of the Taliban willing to work with the Kabul government. He compared that to reconciliation efforts in Iraq, where tribal leaders have switched sides to fight the insurgency. The Taliban have repeatedly rejected the idea of talks unless all 70,000 foreign troops leave the country.
Meanwhile, the Taliban spokesman, Qari Mohammad Yousuf, denied reports that negotiations had taken place between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Saudi Arabia.
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
The ten coldest places on Earth
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Nelson Mandela memorial: Cheers, jeers and a masterclass from Barack Obama that stole the show
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£34999 - £44001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 Accounta...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Product Specia...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£23500 per annum: Harrington Starr: Graduate Software Support Analyst (Compute...