With July the deadliest month for UK troops in Afghanistan, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been setting out a new strategy to end the conflict.
In a speech to NATO at Brussels ahead of the Afghan presidential poll, he urged Kabul to do more to engage with moderate elements of the Taliban. “I believe we are at an important point in Afghanistan’s history and NATO’s work there – a testing point,” he said. “The elections on August 20 need to be both credible and inclusive. These will be the first Afghan-led elections since the 1970s. We are all doing all we can to help ensure that the process is as credible and fair as possible, with additional troops, with election observers as well.” More British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan than in the Iraq war. As David Miliband called for the political process to be extended to moderate Taliban members, Afghanistan announced a ceasefire deal had been struck with the group in a remote province.