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Image for Afghanistan: Is It Mission Impossible?

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Last on

Sat 10 Oct 2009 22:15 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 07 October 2009

As President Obama debates whether to send even more troops to the country, and the British death toll there rises, Eddie Mair chairs a debate at Chatham House in London about how close the west is to achieving its ambitions in Afghanistan.

What is its 'mission'? To close down terrorist cells in the country, making the UK a safer place? To introduce democracy, greater freedom for women, more electricity, water?

Taking part in the debate are:

Francesc Vendrell, who was the European Union's Special Representative for Afghanistan from 2002 to 2008; before that he was the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan.

Brigadier Buster Howes, who is the Head of Overseas Operations at the MOD.

Eric Joyce, a former major in the army and now a Labour MP. He resigned as an aide to the defence secretary, calling on Gordon Brown to make clear to the British people that the Afghanistan campaign was 'time limited'.

Lindsey German, a senior organiser of the Stop the War Coalition.

Dr John Mackinlay, a counter-insurgency expert from King's College, London.

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