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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Faith in the Intervention Withering

Thursday, October 02, 2008

War in Afghanistan lost, says UK diplomat in leaked report

The Scottish Herald, By IAN BRUCE

The British ambassador in Kabul thinks the war in Afghanistan is as good as lost and that current US military and economic strategy there is destined to fail, according to a potentially explosive report leaked yesterday by French sources.

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the UK diplomat involved, is also alleged to have said that the only practical long-term solution was for the West to support "an acceptable dictator" to unite the fractured country.

The diplomatic bombshell, immediately played down by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, came on the same day that the senior American military commander in Afghanistan called on Nato to provide more troops and other aid "as quickly as possible" in a counterinsurgency battle he said could get worse before it gets better.

The allegedly critical British summary came from direct quotations from a cable written by Fran├žois Fitou, the French deputy ambassador in the Afghan capital.

Mr Fitou reported to President Sarkozy's office that Cowper-Coles believed "American strategy is destined to fail" and that the government of President Hamid Karzai had "lost all trust" among the Afghan population.

"Our public statements should not delude us over the fact that the insurrection, while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital.

"The presence - especially the military presence - of the coalition is part of the problem, not the solution. The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them. In doing so, they are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis."

posted by Travis, 3:06 pm


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