Home International Britain should give up lead role in Afghanistan, say MPs

Britain should give up lead role in Afghanistan, say MPs


London: Britain should give up the lead role it shares with the US in Afghanistan after a dramatic rise in troop deaths and a slump in public backing, a parliamentary report urged Sunday.

There had been “significant mission creep” of extra roles for British troops since their initial deployment in 2001, according to the report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, a body which includes both governnment and opposition MPs.

It hit out at operations being “undermined by unrealistic planning at senior levels, poor co-ordination between Whitehall departments and, crucially, a failure to provide the military with clear direction.”

The report followed a July in which fatalities rose to 22 among the 9,000 British troops, which are deployed mainly in southern Helmand Province where Taliban resistance has been strong.

The report warned that the situation there would be “precarious for some time to come”, and it urged that troop activities, which currently include combatting the rife drugs trade in the region, be concentrated on “realistic objectives.”

“We recommend that in the immediate future the government should re-focus its efforts to concentrate its limited resources on one priority, namely security,” the report said.