[DEBATE] : Taliban can't be defeated: British commander
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 12:32:05 BST 2008
Taliban can't be defeated: British commander
North Korea Times
Sunday 5th October, 2008
The senior-most British army commander in Afghanistan says the
international community should strike a political deal with Taliban
militants as they cannot be defeated militarily.
'We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable
level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by
the Afghan army,' Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of the 16 Air
Assault Brigade, said in remarks published Sunday.
'We want to change the nature of the debate from one where disputes are
settled through the barrel of the gun to one where it is done through
negotiations,' Carleton-Smith told the Sunday Times in an interview.
'If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and
talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of
progress that concludes insurgencies like this. That shouldn't make
people uncomfortable,' he added.
His comments follow a controversy over similar remarks attributed
recently to the British Ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles.
A French newspaper quoted a French diplomat this week as saying
Cowper-Cole thought the Afghan war was 'doomed to fail' and that
Afghanistan might best be 'governed by an acceptable dictator'.
But British Foreign Minister David Miliband later described the report
as 'garbled,' and said the reported comments did not reflect British
More information about the Debate-list