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UK Afghan Policy Described as Flawed

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TEHRAN, March 3 (ICANA) – The UK government's policy in Afghanistan is flawed and its counter-insurgency measures in the country are failing to bear result, according to a parliamentary report.
Thursday, March 03, 2011 9:08:44 PM
UK Afghan Policy Described as Flawed

The parliamentary committee report will say that counter-insurgency measures in Afghanistan are not working and could be counter-productive unless the US and its allies start peace talks with the Taliban.

The cross-party report argues that Britain's policy in Afghanistan is flawed. It has been prepared by the Tory-led foreign affairs committee and follows a seven-month enquiry.

It suggests that the justification for fighting the war, which was, to eliminate Afghanistan as a base for al-Qaida - "may have been achieved some time ago" and it questions whether the sacrifices of the armed services in Afghanistan "have a direct connection to the UK's core objective".

The committee also queries whether the "ambitious aim" to defeat the Taliban and build a functioning, stable, Afghan government, is achievable.

"The evidence presented to the committee has suggested that the current full-scale and highly intensive counter-insurgency campaign is not succeeding," the report says.

The Tory MP Richard Ottaway, chair of the committee, suggested the focus on the fight against the Taliban and tendency to lump the group with al-Qaida as a common enemy, could alienate the population.

"There is a danger that without appropriate political leadership, the current military campaign is in danger of inadvertently de-railing efforts to secure a political solution to what is essentially a political problem," Ottaway said in a statement issued alongside the report.

The committee's main recommendation is for the UK to encourage the US to be involved in the search for a political solution, including direct contact with the Taliban.

A US report last month said secret, exploratory, negotiations had begun but it remains unclear how interested the Taliban leaders are in peace talks.

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