Saturday, 15 September 2012

Philip Hammond evokes an accelerated withdrawal from Afghanistan

The troops of his Gracious Majesty could retire earlier than expected in Afghanistan, according to what Philip Hammond told the British Minister of Defence, our colleagues in the Guardian ( read here ).Admitting that six months ago, the army insisted on keeping as many men as possible for as long as possible on the ground, the command of the army today is " surprised by the ease with which they were able to withdraw and let Afghan forces share responsibility "he has said. The United Kingdom has already closed 52 of its 86 military bases and checkpoints in the last six months in Helmand province. " We now reconsider how many men we need in fact ... there could be a possibility for a little more flexibility for the withdrawal "has he added. " I think the message I received clearly the military is that it might be possible to withdraw more troops in 2013 . "

Speaking so frankly about the reasons for the presence of the British army, he also said that Al Qaeda had now been removed from the country, it was not legitimate to ask the troops put their lives in danger to build the Afghan government. " The final assessment of success (the British military) should be based on the extent to which we can leave an Afghanistan that continue to prevent the entry into its territory for terroristinternational "and not see Afghanistan become a democratic country with a society that respects human rights and education worthy of the name, he said.

British troops were deployed to Helmand province in 2006 and their final withdrawal is envisaged for the end of 2014. Hammond has certainly refused to go into the details of a new calendar. But it is indeed the first time that early withdrawal is released by London.

The Minister also acknowledged that total peace in Afghanistan will involve engaging in "a strategy to Northern Irish" in any case to the moderate party of the insurgents, to incorporate the reconciliation and integration. " This is the reality. You can not find a long-term agreement with a significant proportion of the population remains outside (of the agreement). "

Finally, the Minister returned to the attacks " green on blue "- when members of the Afghan forces are attacking their British counterparts. The defense minister said he " spoke with one of the commanders about the attacks and investigations have shown serious flaws in the way some elements of the Afghan troops have been managed in the past . "

Recall that the United Kingdom, the second contributor to the International Force Security Assistance (ISAF) after the United States, has lost 427 soldiers since the conflict began.

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