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Britain cannot waver due to Afghan war`s unpopularity: Army

Last Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 14:56

London: The British government must not let
negative opinion polls about the war in Afghanistan dictate
its security policy, the head of the British army warned
today.

The war is winnable, even though the point of victory may
seem some way off yet, General David Richards wrote in a
letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has faced growing
pressure over the purpose and scope of the British mission in
Afghanistan in recent months, as the death toll rose swiftly.

A Populus opinion poll for The Times newspaper out on
Wednesday showed public opinion on the Afghanistan conflict
has soured, with 36 per cent of voters now in favour of
withdrawing all British forces.

Anyone who suggests "the sooner we get out the better...
is wrong", Richards wrote.

"It has been a struggle to persuade the British public
about this and we need to do better. But we should not allow
our security policy to be driven by opinion polls.

"Certainly there are other parts of the world that
present potential threats; these are tackled in different
ways.

"It is wrong to suggest that, because we do not have
forces in all of them, we should withdraw from Afghanistan."

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 14:56
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