In an interview today with the Daily Telegraph, British Army Chief Sir Peter Wall undercut Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent “mission accomplished” comments, which came with a call for an Afghan pullout.
While Cameron claimed a “basic level of security” meant British troops could “come home with their heads held high,” Sir Peter predicted the Taliban would retake “captured” territory.
Though he didn’t directly talk about the size of a military presence he’d want to see, he made it clear that he believes the Taliban is “disrupted” and needs to be “assimilated,” in what could be a long process.
The Cameron government has been eager to end its costly military involvement in Afghanistan, and hopes to have the last of its 5,200 troops out by the end of 2014. Though the US is in talks to keep its troops “through 2024 and beyond,” it is widely believed the Cameron government won’t be joining them in any major way.
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