Monday, July 5, 2010

Afghanistan Ambassador: Obama's Timetable for Withdrawal is 'Unhelpful & Unrealistic'

Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S. said Sunday that President Obama's decision to set a timetable for the start of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is 'unhelpful and unrealistic'.

Over-emphasizing "a deadline that is not realistic" only serves to embolden the enemy and prolong the war, he said. The ambassador went on to say that the U.S. and its NATO allies need to send "a clear message to the enemy" that they "are there to finish this job," otherwise, he added, they'll "lose the support of the Afghan people, and also make the neighboring countries of interest a lot more bolder to interfere in Afghanistan."

Also, Lt Col Paul James, a commanding officer in Afghanistan's Sangin district, said Sunday that, due to an insufficient number of Nato forces and Afghan police in his district, it could take up to ten years to secure the area from a Taliban resurgence.

"It just takes hellishly long unless you have the right force density," he said.