e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 04/16/2014
  Withdraw British troops from Afghanistan now - Ashdown


[Printer Friendly Version]

Britain should pull out its troops from Afghanistan as quickly as decently possible, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has said.

Writing in the Times, Lord Ashdown gave a bleak assessment of the 11-year war and said it had become crystal clear that Nato had lost in Afghanistan.

Lord Ashdown said the international community had been "divided, cacophonous, chaotic" in Afghanistan.

Some 438 British service personnel have lost their lives in the war so far.

Failed goals

While the UK government is committed to a timetable of withdrawing most of Britain's 9,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Lord Ashdown said the only rational policy was to leave quickly.

He warned that the only outcome of staying longer was more deaths for no purpose, highlighting the increasing number of Nato troops being killed by those wearing Afghan army or police uniforms.

Lord Ashdown acknowledged that Nato had succeeded in one objective - driving out al-Qaeda - but said most other goals, especially the establishment of a sustainable state, had not been achieved.

He said: "We cannot pretend there is any more to do in Afghanistan. The urgent priority is to get out.

"It is not worth wasting one more life in Afghanistan. All that we can achieve has now been achieved. All that we might have achieved if we had done things differently, has been lost.

"The only rational policy now is to leave quickly, in good order and in the company of our allies. This is the only cause for which further lives should be risked."

'Tainted partners'

The Lib Dem peer said it was a political rather than a military failure.

"The international community in Afghanistan needed to speak with a single voice in pursuit of a single plan with clear priorities," he said.

"Instead we have been divided, cacophonous, chaotic. We should have concentrated on winning in Afghanistan where it mattered, instead of distracting ourselves with adventures in Iraq.

"We should have engaged Afghanistan's neighbours, instead of going out of our way to make them enemies. Our early military strategy should have been about protecting the people instead of wasting our time chasing the enemy.

"We should have made fighting corruption our first priority instead of becoming the tainted partners of a corrupt government whose writ, along with ours, has progressively collapsed as that of the Taleban in the south has progressively widened."

Lord Ashdown's verdict, though, is not shared by the man nominated to be the next Nato commander in Afghanistan.

Giving evidence to a Senate committee in Washington, the US military's Gen Joseph Dunford insisted the alliance was making progress - though he did not use the word winning.

On Remembrance Sunday, Cpt Walter Barrie, of The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was shot dead by a member of the Afghan army.

Cpt Barrie, 41, from Glasgow, was shot at close range while playing in a football match between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army at his base in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

Back to Top

Other Stories:

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan’s Next First Lady Could be a Christian
PJMedia.com (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)

Next Afghan president: A pen or bulldozer?
Asia Times (10/24/2013)

Afghan Election Frontrunners
The Wall Street Journal (10/09/2013)

Karzai Lashes Out at U.S. for Its Role in Afghanistan
The New York Time (10/08/2013)

Karzai offered my party $100m, Noor claims
Pajhwok (10/07/2013)

Gen. Dostum apologizes for his role in Afghanistan civil war
Khama Press (10/07/2013)

27 Candidates nominated for 2014 Afghan presidential election
Khaama Press (10/07/2013)

Karzai’s elder brother Qayum Karzai nominated for Afghan presidency
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Afghan mines minister Shahrani resigns to run in 2014 elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Dr. Zalmai Rasoul nominated for 2014 presidential elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Ghani formally launches quest for presidency
Pajhwok (10/06/2013)

Limited VP choices put wannabes in tight spot
Pajhwok (10/05/2013)

US embassy rejects Karzai chief of staff Karim Khoram’s remarks
Khama Press (07/18/2013)

Afghan women suffer setback as parliament lowers quota for female lawmakers
NBC News (07/18/2013)

Afghanistan, US Dispute Millions in Customs Fines
Voice of America (07/18/2013)

Back to Top