MoD admits campaign in Afghanistan is 'an unwinnable war'

16/03/2013 19:40
 

British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are part of a campaign that attempted to “impose an ideology foreign to the Afghan people” and was “unwinnable in military terms”, according to a damning report by the Ministry of Defence.

The internal study says that Nato forces have been unable to “establish control over the insurgents’ safe havens” or “protect the rural population”, and warns the “conditions do not exist” to guarantee the survival of the Afghan government after combat troops withdraw next year.

The report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, says that when troops leave, Afghanistan “will be left with a severely damaged and very weak economic base”, which means that the West will have to continue to fund “large-scale support programmes” for many years to come.

Even if the internal situation were stable, the Afghan government may not survive the destabilising activities of its neighbours. “Regional players do not have a vested interest in the success of the Kabul government”, states the document in a clear reference to Pakistan.

The report, Lessons from the Soviet Transition in Afghanistan, is an internal research project produced in November last year by the MoD’s think-tank, the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC). Based in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, the DCDC’s reports “help inform decisions in defence strategy, capability development and operations” across all three branches of the armed forces.

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