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  •  West cannot defeat al-Qaeda, says UK forces chief (6+ / 0-)

    The West can only contain not defeat militant groups such as al-Qaeda, the head of the UK's armed forces has said.

    General Sir David Richards, a former Nato commander in Afghanistan, said Islamist militancy would pose a threat to the UK for at least 30 years.

    But he told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper a clear-cut victory over militants was not achievable.

    The BBC's Frank Gardner said the comments reflect a "new realism" in UK and US counter-terrorism circles.

    Our security correspondent said such an admission five years ago might have been considered outrageous and defeatist.


    He said the best weapon in the battle against al-Qaeda was the use of "upstream prevention" and the promotion of "education and democracy".

    He drew similarities between militant Islam's "pernicious ideology" and that of Nazi Germany.

    Gen Richards also admitted the Afghan people were beginning to "tire" of Nato's inability to follow through with its promises to the country.

    Britain has lost 343 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001 but Gen Richards said their sacrifice had been worth it.

    He said he saw no reason for Britain to intervene militarily in other countries like it had in Iraq and Afghanistan but added: "It would be barmy to say that one day we wouldn't be back in that position."

    Too little, too late.

    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. Boy, did that greek geek nail it.

    by amk for obama on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 11:16:07 PM PST

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