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".


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

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