The Mission Possible in Afghanistan by David Miliband

Dandelion Salad

by David Miliband
Times Online
Oct 19, 20008

Christina Lamb is an excellent journalist. When she comes to fear that our work in Afghanistan is Mission Impossible (News Review, last week), it is important to take note. Like her, I have flown with our troops across barren Afghan terrain, seen the difficulty of coordinating the international effort, heard from Afghans their frustrations with government corruption. But it is also important that we do not leap to the wrong conclusion. Her article describes setbacks and successes. I recognise many of the points she makes. So what should we learn? My answer is that we should learn from mistakes, build upon successes and use the coming winter lull in fighting to plan the next phase of the campaign.

Military “victory” in Afghanistan never involved killing all the Taliban or building British suburbia – democratic and genteel– in the Panjshir Valley. If either of these were our aims, we would indeed be on an impossible mission. But our true mission, consistently advocated by the UK government and our allies, has been to use military power to create the space within which Afghan institutions can become strong enough to resist the Taliban. That mission is certainly not impossible.


via The Mission Possible in Afghanistan | David Miliband – Times Online

h/t: Cem Ertür

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3 thoughts on “The Mission Possible in Afghanistan by David Miliband

  1. Pingback: Afghanistan – Worth the Sacrifice + 2009 is going to be a very important year for the Iranian issue « Dandelion Salad


    excerpt from ‘Speech given by the Prime Minister to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Guildhall’

    by Gordon Brown, 10 November 2008

    I say to Iran which has signed the non proliferation treaty: in these new circumstances rejoin global society and benefit from help in acquiring civil nuclear power – or face new sanctions –and growing isolation.


    And we will support the Afghan and Pakistan governments in working together to tackle the security issues across the border which the last decade has shown are crucial to our own security at home. Afghanistan is a test the international community cannot afford to fail. And we will not fail.

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