Sep 14

Nato urged to allow partition of Afghanistan

Afghanistan should be allowed to partition along ethnic lines by pulling back Nato forces and acknowledging that the Taliban will not be defeated in their heartland, a senior former American national security adviser has warned.

Robert Blackwill said that there had been a decade of ‘innumerable errors’ in the Western approach to Afghanistan Photo: REUTERS

Robert Blackwill, who was Condolezza Rice’s deputy as National Security Adviser in 2003 to 2004, will use a speech at the International Institute of Strategic Studies think tank in London on Monday to call on President Barack Obama to make drastratic changes in the war’s objectives.

He told The Daily Telegraph that the surge of forces launched last year to stabilise Afghanistan was “high likely” to fail and that the death toll in the conflict was too high a price to pay.“The Taliban are winning, we are losing,” he said. “They have high morale and want to continue the insurgency. Plan A is going to fail. We need a Plan B

“Let the Taliban control the Pashtun south and east, the American and allied price for preventing that is far too high.”

Mr Blackwill said that there had been a decade of “innumerable errors” in the Western approach to Afghanistan. Most notably American policy shifted after the atttacks on September 11, 2001 from expelling al Qaeda from its Afghan sanctuaries to crushing the Taliban and installing a democratic government in Kabul.

The result was that America now had 1,000 soldiers deployed for every one of the estimated 100 al Qaeda operatives now believed to be based in Afghanistan and was hemorraging $100 billion a year on the conflict.

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