We must stay the course in Afghanistan


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A rise in 'Green on Blue' or insider attacks in Afghanistan has led to renewed calls for the UK to pull its troops out of the country. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lt Col Charlie Maconochie argues we should not be deterred.

"In the past five years, 18 British soldiers have been killed and a similar number wounded as a result of eight attacks by members of the Afghan forces. As the British Army adviser to Brigadier Shirin Shah, Commander of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in central Helmand, I am acutely aware of what this insider threat means for my men.

"Every loss of life in such circumstances is tragic. One can barely begin to imagine the impact on the families of the soldiers involved. However, it is important to put the number of incidents in perspective. In the past two years, more than 40,000 British soldiers have served in Afghanistan and many work alongside Afghan soldiers and policemen every day. There are now more than 337,000 Afghan forces personnel working with coalition forces."

And the work the British Army is undertaking with the Afghan forces is "crucial", says Maconochie. In the long run, it "enhances our security and dwarfs the actions of the few rogue elements. "