NATO Can Never Win the War in Afghanistan, Says Gorbachev

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

NATO Can Never Win the War in Afghanistan, Says Gorbachev


Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

FORMER Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev today warned America and Britain that a military victory in Afghanistan is impossible.

The world statesman said Barack Obama was right to plan an exit strategy because the alternative was a Vietnam-style failure.

Mr Gorbachev's words carry a unique authority: he was the Kremlin leader who brought Soviet troops home after an unsuccessful 10-year occupation two decades ago.

"Victory is impossible in Afghanistan," he said in a BBC interview. "Obama is right to pull the troops out. No matter how difficult it will be."

Foreign Secretary William Hague was today updating MPs on the military and political campaigns being undertaken by UK forces to defeat the Taliban and bolster Afghan democracy.

More than 10,000 British troops are fighting in the country alongside ten times as many Americans.

David Cameron has pledged to withdraw soldiers from combat duties by 2015. "But what's the alternative? Mr Gorbachev said. "Another Vietnam? Sending in half a million troops? That wouldn't work. …

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