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France sanctions general who spoke out on Afghanistan

France will punish a general who criticised the US-led war effort in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Wednesday, amid growing doubts about the NATO war strategy.



Paris: France will punish a general who
criticised the US-led war effort in Afghanistan, Defence
Minister Herve Morin said on Wednesday, amid growing doubts about the
NATO war strategy.

General Vincent Desportes, director of France`s Joint
Forces Defence College, which trains staff officers, last week
told the daily Le Monde that the situation in Afghanistan "has
never been worse".
Desportes said US President Barack Obama appears unsure
of his strategy, that the counterinsurgency plan underway on
the ground is not bearing fruit and that American soldiers are
unhappy with their leadership.

His comments were an embarrassment for President Nicolas
Sarkozy`s French government, which has 3,500 soldiers in
Afghanistan fighting alongside Afghan forces in a US-led
coalition against a fierce insurgency.

"He will be punished," Morin told BFM television, adding
that he had asked the French chiefs of staff to take
administrative action against Desportes, whom he said had
shown a "lack of judgement".
"Until we hear otherwise, soldiers are under the
authority of politicians, just like any other public
employee," he warned.

Desportes spoke out shortly after Obama triggered a new
round of doubts over the Afghan war when he sacked the US
commander of the NATO coalition, General Stanley McChrystal,
over his own comments in the media.

PTI

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