UK slyly admits Afghan war unwinnable
Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:7AM GMT
The British Ministry of Defense has admitted that the Afghan campaign was “unwinnable in military terms” but is trying to justify long-term British presence in the Asian country under the pretext of supporting the Afghan government.
The ministry found in an internal study that NATO forces have failed to “establish control over the insurgents’ safe havens” or to “protect the rural population”.
However, the report by the MoD’s think tank, the Development, Concepts and Doctrines Centre, tried to set the stage for non-military occupation of Afghanistan even after a British military withdrawal planned for 2014.
It said that Afghanistan “will be left with a severely damaged and very weak economic base” after the pull-out stressing such a situation leaves western countries obliged to fund “large-scale support programs” for many years.
Back in October 2011, British ambassador to Kabul gave away part of London’s strategy in Afghanistan that the report shows it is now materializing.
The envoy, William Patey, said at the time that “Afghanistan is not being abandoned in 2014” stressing only “the nature of our engagement is changing.”
Later, his point was reinforced by the most senior British officer in Afghanistan and deputy commander of the NATO forces in the country, Lieutenant General James Bucknall, who said “we will reduce [forces’] numbers - but we will not go away”.
At the time, the pretext was Britain’s “national security”.
“It's still about national security, we're here in order to ensure that Afghanistan once again does not return to a state where it can be used to threaten our security," Bucknall said.
The recent MoD report, however, only adds another aspect to the pretext, that is, Afghans’ own security.
This comes as Afghan president Hamid Karzai made clear in December that "withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan is good for security”.
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