British General: Cutting Troops in Afghanistan Would Be ‘Unforgivable’
by Jason Ditz
March 31, 2013
In comments to Britain’s The Independent today, Lt. Gen. Nick Carter, the top British commander in Afghanistan, and indeed the second-in-command for the entire NATO occupation, warned against any calls to withdraw troops from the nation.
Carter said that any cuts above and beyond the trivial ones agreed to beforehand would be "unforgivable" and would threaten the "progress" that the past 11 and a half years of occupation has produced.
"Our judgement is we have to manage this in a way that retains confidence," Carter added, saying any cuts would ruin the Afghan government’s confidence of long-term deployment of NATO troops.
Carter’s confidence appears to run opposite to an internal report from the British Defense Ministry, which ruled the Afghan war "unwinnable," saying that NATO following the same trail as the Soviet Union, whose own occupation ended with a precipitous withdrawal and the quick collapse of the Soviet-backed regime, which included many of the same elements as the new NATO-backed government.
Britain’s political leadership has talked up accelerating the withdrawal in recent months, and Chancellor George Osborne has called for a full withdrawal of troops immediately, saying they serve no apparent purpose.