Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'WE WILL NOT WALK AWAY' PM Vows to Keep Troops on Mission

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'WE WILL NOT WALK AWAY' PM Vows to Keep Troops on Mission

Article excerpt

BRITAIN cannot afford to "walk away" from the mission in Afghanistan if it is to prevent future al Qaida attacks on the streets of the UK, Gordon Brown warned today.

The Prime Minister used a keynote speech to reaffirm the Government's commitment to the Afghan campaign following the losses of recent days - including five soldiers killed by an Afghan policeman they had helped to train. He stressed the need to continue with the policy of mentoring the Afghan security forces, arguing that it is what distinguishes the international military presence from "an army of occupation".

His latest intervention comes amid concerns in Whitehall that public and political support for the Afghan mission is beginning to crumble in the face of losses.

Peers including former Chiefs of the Defence Staff Lord Boyce and Lord Craig of Radley were also due to debate the condition of the armed forces today.

In his speech, Mr Brown again attempted to drive home the message that the campaign is inextricably linked to UK national security, with terrorists continuing to plot attacks from the region. …

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