Wednesday, October 1, 2008

UK ambassador bombshell

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, currently the British ambassador to Afghanistan, is known as an outspoken diplomat. The French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné has published what it says are meeting notes which summarize Cowper-Coles' opinions on Afghanistan:

The potentially explosive views were published by Le Canard Enchaîné, a respected French weekly, which said that they were direct quotations from a diplomatic cable written by François Fitou, the French Deputy Ambassador in Kabul.

Mr Fitou reported to President Sarkozy's office and his own Foreign Ministry that Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British Ambassador, believed that "American strategy is destined to fail" in Afghanistan, according to the newspaper...

“The current situation is bad. The security situation is getting worse. So is corruption and the Government has lost all trust. Our public statements should not delude us over the fact that the insurrection, while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital.

The presence — especially the military presence — of the coalition is part of the problem, not the solution. The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them. In doing so, they are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis (which, moreover, will probably be dramatic)." ...

Reinforcing the military presence against the Taleban insurrection would be counter-productive, he said, according to Le Canard. "It would identify us even more clearly as an occupying force and it would multiply the number of targets (for the insurgents)," he was quoted as saying.

The allied governments should start preparing public opinion to accept that the only realistic solution for Afghanistan was to be ruled by "an acceptable dictator"... (link)

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