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David Davis says soldiers' lives have been spent to little or no effect in Afghanistan

DAVIS DAVIDIn today's London Evening Standard David Davis writes a strong attack on Britan's policy in Afghanistam.  He writes about what he sees as seven wasted years in Afghanistan:

"What would winning look like? Underpinning Afghan democracy? Stabilising the Karzai regime? Providing education and healthcare to the Afghan population, both male and female? Delivering law and order? Eradicating corruption? Creating a working economy? Crushing the drug trade?Protecting Pakistan from instability? Or simply defeating the Taliban and creating a stable state? The truth is on the day of its second “democratic” election, after years of pain and more than 200 British deaths, we are no closer to any of these objectives."

Rather than recommending withdrawal he recommends more troops:

"We need a military surge which involves a massive increase in force, to both decapitate the Taliban and deny them control of the countryside. We need a security policy that allows ordinary Afghans to get their goods to market without paying levies to the Taliban, common bandits and corrupt policemen, levies that make it pointless growing any cash crop other than poppy. We need to have a blitz on corruption at the national and provincial level, and an imaginative use of the tribal system to deliver justice at the local level. We need to start implementing our aid policy seriously, rather than the dilettantish dabbling we are currently undertaking. It should focus hard on the economic infrastructure, roads and irrigation, since poverty is the big enemy. Most of all we need a massive increase in the size of the Afghan National Army. The American counter-insurgency field manual implies that Afghanistan should have about 600,000 indigenous soldiers, about the size of the security forces in Iraq. That number is probably a minimum. It is much greater than the current plans."

48% of Tory members recently said they supported more troops from Britain, America or other NATO countries going into Afghanistan.  32% said it was time to leave.  20% supported continuing the current path.

Tim Montgomerie


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