NATO has warned that success is not yet assured in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. “There will be many difficult days ahead”, the alliance’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said as defence ministers met in Brussels.
Afghanistan’s own Defence Minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, heard calls for NATO members to step up their efforts to train his country’s security forces.
British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: “There is no reason why any country should not be sending more trainers to Afghanistan to ensure that we can build up that critical mass of the Afghan national security forces, so that when we do leave Afghanistan, we leave behind a secure country and not a security vacuum.”
David Cameron has ended his first trip to Afghanistan as Britain’s Prime Minister by visiting UK troops serving in the insurgency-hit south.
As fresh violence claimed NATO and civilian lives, he conveyed a message from England’s World Cup football hopefuls, hailing the troops as “the real heroes.” And, to their delight, Cameron doubled the soldiers’ operational allowance.