BBC BLOGS - See Also
« Previous | Main | Next »

Daily View: Afghanistan troops

Clare Spencer | 09:07 UK time, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Gordon BrownLast night, Gordon Brown announced his intention of setting up a timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan. Here are some responses:

Guardian assistant editor Simon Tisdall suggests what Gordon Brown should aim for in the upcoming meeting with Nato:

"Brown should set aside his mis-targeted fixation with al-Qaida, a much diminished threat. Instead, he or his successor should be pressing for more focused, better defined use of Nato military power to protect Kabul and other main population centres and key trade and communications routes."

The Telegraph leader column disagrees with Tisdall, naming al-Qaeda as our greatest threat and welcoming the proposed Nato conference:

"If the Nato mission in Afghanistan fails, it will encourage jihadis throughout the Middle East and the sub-continent, destabilise Pakistan and undermine the embryonic anti-clerical movement in Iran, a country whose nuclear ambitions remain the other great foreign policy headache."

Former High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Hilary Synnott tells The World Tonight:

"The ultimate objective cannot just be to leave Afghanistan. It must be, as the prime minister has emphasised, to weaken the Taliban, to prevent the re-emergence of al-Qaeda and to prevent al-Qaeda's supporters claiming a defeat on our part. That would be the worst possible outcome."

Also in the Telegraph, political correspondent James Kirkup asks whether, in his rush to assure voters of progress in Afghanistan, Brown risks putting that very progress in jeopardy. The Mirror welcomes Gordon Brown's announcement and says it is recognition of public unease at a seemingly unending war.

Simon Tisdall | Guardian | Whatever Obama decides, Brown must set withdrawal date
Leader | Telegraph | Al-Qaeda: the greatest threat
James Kirkup | Telegraph | Are we winning or running away? Or both?
Sir Hilary Synnott | The World Tonight
Voice of the Mirror | Convince the public
Guardian | Britain's future role in Afghanistan: Six experts give their view
Richard North | Defence of the Realm | Bad Idea
NIck Robinson | BBC | Afghanistan ifs and maybes
Peter Hoskin | Spectator | Brown misjudges the Afghanistan waiting game

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.