Afghanistan war questioned in the UK

08/03/2012

The United Kingdom is experiencing another debate about its role in the Afghan war after the killing of six British soldiers by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The attack represents the worst loss of life of British troops in a single incident since 2006. Despite recent gains of the international coalition in their counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan, the incident demonstrates the continued strength of the insurgents. UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of a “desperately sad day for [the] country” and “a reminder for the huge price that we are paying for the work that we are doing in Afghanistan and the sacrifices that our troops have made and continue to make.”

Ahead of the planned departure of international combat troops in 2014, the incident triggered a debate about the UK’s mission in Afghanistan and the prospects for success. Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “It isn’t just the number of casualties which is so disturbing. It is the fact that the United Kingdom, along with other allies, has declared a date by which all combat forces will be withdrawn, and yet the efforts of the Taliban to destabilise Afghanistan continue unabated.”

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