Gorbachev warns US victory in Afghanistan `impossible`

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has advised Americans to withdraw forces from the country, if it wanted to avoid another Vietnam.

London: Warning that it was "impossible"
for US forces to secure victory in Afghanistan, Former Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev has advised Americans to withdraw
forces from the country, if it wanted to avoid another
Vietnam.

Gorbachev, who presided over withdrawal of more than
half-a-million Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the `80s said
Obama should negotiate a withdrawal from the war-torn country
that guaranteed "neutrality" of the nation.

"Victory is impossible in Afghanistan. Obama is right
to pull the troops out. No matter how difficult it will be,"
Gorbachev said in an interview to the BBC.

He said it would be difficult for the US to withdraw
forces as Americans had previously trained militants there who
were now "terrorising" the region.

"It will be difficult for Americans to pull out. But
what`s the alternative? Another Vietnam Sending in
half-a-million troops? That wouldn`t work," Gorbachev said.

The former Soviet leader said blood letting in
Afghanistan could have been avoided if the Americans had
abided by the agreement, "we reached in Afghanistan that the
country should be a neutral democratic nation that would have
good relations with all its neighbours and both US and USSR."
"Though the Americans supported it, they violated the
agreement by training militants -- the same ones who today are
terrorising Afghanistan and more and more of Pakistan," he
said.

Gorbachev said because of this, it would be more
difficult for the US to get out of the situation.

He said before the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan,
an agreement had been reached with Iran, India, Pakistan and
US, implying that such a truce could be replicated.

Gorbachev backed US President Barack Obama`s July 2011
for starting troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and handing
more responsibility to Afghan forces.

PTI

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