NATO Poised to Abandon Northern Helmand Province

British Commanders Slam Proposal as 'Betrayal' of Taliban Defector

In the face of an ever-growing insurgency across Afghanistan, NATO is reportedly eying a new “tactical pullout” which would have its forces abandon the northern portion of the Helmand Province, including the key town of Musa Qala.

The British military seized Musa Qala in December 2007, and officials installed a former Taliban commander as governor of the region around it. British commanders have slammed the proposed pullout, saying it was a “betrayal” to the Taliban defector to hand his district back to the Taliban.

The British Defense Ministry denied that any such plans were in place, despite comments from commanders about them. They did however concede that if President Obama’s planned escalation wasn’t large enough, they might have to reexamine which regions they would remain in.

Though there is growing opposition to the war in Britain, with around two thirds of British voters now opposed and widespread calls for a pullout, the British military insists it must be continued, if for no other reason than accepting the inevitable defeat would cost the military credibility.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.