The British Prime Minister chose the traditional setting of London’s Guildhall and the Lord Mayor’s Banquet to outline a proposed strategy for transferring power in Afghanistan.
Gordon Brown also offered to host an international summit as the public mood in Britain has started to question the army’s presence in Afghanistan. “If at all possible we should set a timetable for transferring districts to Afghan control starting next year in 2010. It is only when the Afghans are able to defend the security of their own people and deny the territory of Afghanistan as a base for terrorists, that our strategy of ‘Afghanisation’ will have succeeded and our troops can come home,” he said. This has been the bloodiest year yet for the British troops with the death toll now 234 since the US-led invasion in 2001. It is another headache for the British prime minister as he approaches an election year trailing the opposition Conservative party in the polls. He stressed again the need for action because al-Qaeda is still the biggest threat to Britain’s security.