From the BBC:
The most senior British Army officer in Afghanistan says he believes that country will follow Iraq into sectarian conflict when international troops withdraw by the end of the year.
Lt Gen John Lorimer told BBC Radio 5 live the circumstances in Iraq and Afghanistan were "pretty similar".
Iraqi forces are currently battling jihadist-led Islamist rebels. The former head of the UK military, Lord Richards, has also warned the fighting could be repeated in Afghanistan.
Lt Gen Lorimer, who is the deputy head of the Nato-led mission, is in his last week of service in Afghanistan.
He said he was not confident the country would be secure as international troops withdraw, saying the Afghan national security forces were well equipped, but as poorly trained to deal with the threat of insurgents as were Iraqi forces.
"I think the comparison between Iraq and Afghanistan is a particularly helpful one", he said, "The circumstances are quite similar, the context is similar, I think the important thing about this next mission is that the international troops who were here to train, advise and assess the Afghan national security forces...the Afghans want the international community to leave."
Lt Gen Lorimer said the Afghan forces had been "pretty disappointing" in maintaining security in the run-up to the country's elections. He added: "There are still gaps in their capabilities, they aren't working on them, they have not recognised what they are, and the international community is not helping them fill those gaps."
That community has committed $4bn (£2.4bn) a year for security in Afghanistan until 2017 and $4bn a year for development to underpin future security and stability, meaning that the resurgent Taliban will have ready access to weapons and ammunition when the Nato-led mission ends and the Afghan security forces promptly abandon their posts.
Friday, 27 June 2014
From the BBC:
My latest blogpost: "Afghanistan 'will mirror Iraq', UK Army officer says"Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 07:40