Obama Administration Fears Growing UK Unrest Over Afghan War Toll

Analysts Say War Exhaustion in UK Could Spread to US

Late last week eight British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in just 24 hours, bringing Britain’s Afghan toll to 184, topping the toll the nation saw in its entire Iraq campaign. With violence continuing to worsen in the seemingly endless war, its no surprise that many in the country are starting to question the government’s stay the course policy.

Not the Brown government, of course. Publicly their commitment to continue throwing troops at the situation is rock solid. Still, many in the Obama Administration fear that growing war exhaustion is going to eventually force Britain to change directions, and what the consequences will be to the US war effort.

President Obama has tried to make escalating the Afghan War the center of his foreign policy. So far the American public hasn’t complained too much about this particular war, but if the British leave the US will likely be expected to pick up the slack and that’s bound to alter public opinion, anaysts warn. With the Iraq War continuing apace and Gen. McChrystal looking to escalate even more in Afghanistan, that’s a lot of slack.

America’s European allies are talking exit strategy in Afghanistan, and that seems to be the furthest thing from President Obama’s mind. With each month setting records for violence in the nation, it seems inevitable that the death toll is going to become an issue dometically. It’s only a question of when.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.