British military warns over Afghan drawdown

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 12:48

London: Senior British army figures on Wednesday
warned David Cameron not to "fall into the trap" of a hasty
Afghan troop drawdown, a day after the premier scolded the
military for claiming it was overstretched.

Head of the British army General Peter Wall cast doubt
on Prime Minister Cameron`s 2015 deadline for the withdrawal
of combat troops during an interview for a BBC documentary due
to be aired today.

"Whether or not it turns out to be an absolute
timeline or more conditions-based approach nearer the time, we
shall find out," Chief of the General Staff Wall told the
"Afghanistan: War Without End?" programme.

Meanwhile, former army chief Richard Dannatt urged
Cameron not to be tempted to accelerate the withdrawal by US
President Barack Obama`s expected announcement that 10,000 US
soldiers are to be brought home.

"Obama may wish to withdraw troops for his domestic
political purposes but I am quite sure our prime minister will
not fall into the same trap," the former soldier told The
Times.

"He will not want to risk the investment in blood and
treasure just for a domestic political agenda," he added.

Cameron reacted testily yesterday to an air force
chief`s claims that fighting in Afghanistan and Libya was
demoralising personnel, saying Britain could continue its
Libya operations for "as long as is necessary".

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 12:48

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