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UK in Afghanistan "for 40 years" says general

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UK in Afghanistan "for 40 years" says general


A former commander of NATO’s ISAF Afghan mission and the incoming head of the British army General Sir David Richards says Britain could have a role to play in Afghanistan for the next 30 or 40 years.

Richards said the army’s role would evolve as Afghan forces were able to take over the task of fighting the Taliban, and that development, governance, and security sector reform would be as if not more important in years to come. He insisted there was “absolutely no chance” NATO would pull out before the Afghan forces were ready, adding the west had made the mistake once before of abandoning the region, an apparent reference to disengagement after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. 22 British soldiers died in Afghanistan last month, the army’s heaviest loss of life since 2001, and a recent opinion poll suggests two-thirds of British voters wants the troops out now or within a year.

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