The UK's foreign policy approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents


6  The debate over deadlines


143. The West's exit from Afghanistan has already begun.[254] The Dutch were the first to announce their plans to withdraw in 2009, with the decision taking effect as of August 2010. However, with US public support for the war in Afghanistan falling, and under pressure from his party and Congress for troop withdrawals, it was President Obama's announcement in December 2009 that the US planned to begin to start troop withdrawals from mid-2011 onwards that substantially altered the international debate on Afghanistan.[255]

144. Several allies followed suit. In early 2010, the Spanish government said it would be reasonable to expect Afghanistan to provide its own security by 2015, although it stopped short of setting out a formal timetable for its own withdrawal. The UK was next in June, with an announcement by the Prime Minister that British forces would not stay in Afghanistan in a combat role beyond 2015, regardless of the conditions on the ground. The Prime Minister subsequently stated in July 2010 that the process of bringing British troops home could begin in 2011.[256] Although the Government's position is that British combat forces will not remain in Afghanistan after 2015, it is keen to stress that the withdrawal will not signal the end of the UK's engagement in Afghanistan and that civilian and economic support will intensify as Afghanistan stabilises further.[257]

145. Then in July 2010 Poland stated its intent to complete its withdrawal by 2015, followed swiftly by an announcement by Italy in October 2010 that it would start a gradual drawdown of troops from summer 2011 with the intention completely to withdraw in 2014. After much domestic opposition to its continued presence in Afghanistan and protracted speculation as to what its role there should be, Canada announced in November 2010 that it would withdraw combat troops in July 2011, although it will maintain a force of 950 non-combat personnel for a further three years to train the ANSF. Although no official announcements have yet been made, Germany is also expected to announce that it will start to drawdown troops later this year.

Chronology of a changing British position

146. As Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron stated on a number of occasions that he was opposed to setting "artificial timetables" for withdrawing British troops and said that any timetables would have to be conditions-based. He is quoted in the Daily Telegraph in December 2009 as stating that "we all want to make progress and bring British troops home as soon as possible but any timetable has got to be based on success and results".[258] Just over a year later, in January 2010, less than four months before the General Election, Mr Cameron continued to reject the idea of setting artificial deadlines for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, stating, "We want to withdraw troops on the basis of success—on the basis of an Afghan National Army that's able to take control of parts of the country—rather than believing there are artificial deadlines where we can do these things automatically".[259]

147. This continued to be the Government's position in the weeks immediately after the General Election. On 23 May 2010, during a visit to Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said, "I don't think it's possible and I don't think it's wise to set a date". He added that British troops should be "here for as long as we need to work towards that objective of Afghans being able to look after their own security. [...] I don't think setting a deadline helps anybody. I think so much of what we're doing in Afghanistan, setting targets for people then to jump through hoops doesn't help them in their work, because of course sometimes things take longer than you expected".[260]

148. In the same week, the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, spoke out in the House against an arbitrary deadline for the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, arguing that this must be done "when the time is right and not to some arbitrary deadline. [...] [W]e will not turn Afghanistan into a self-sustaining country if we advertise an early departure".[261] On a later date in June, the Defence Secretary stated: "I would love to be able to tell people exactly when we can bring our troops home, but the decision to do so has to be conditions-based rather than calendar-based".[262] On 14 June, in response to a question in the House, the Prime Minister sent out a similar signal when he stated that "it is right not to set an artificial deadline about when troops will leave".[263]

149. However, less than two weeks after this statement, and three weeks after holding a seminar on Afghanistan at Chequers, the Prime Minister's position shifted when, during a visit to Canada, he stated his desire to see troops home by the next General Election in 2015: "I want that to happen. We cannot be there for another five years having effectively been there for nine years already".[264] Seeking to clarify the Prime Minister's position the following day, Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey stated that David Cameron was "not committing to a firm timeline" and that it would "depend on the conditions on the ground".[265]

150. In July, shortly before the Kabul Conference was due to be held, the Prime Minister again stated in response to a parliamentary question that he did not see a combat role for British troops in Afghanistan beyond 2015: "let me be clear. Do I think we should be there, in a combat role or in significant numbers, in five years time? No, I do not. This is the time to get the job done, and the plan that we have envisages our ensuring that we will not be in Afghanistan in 2015".[266] Confusingly, therefore, on 21 July, the Deputy Prime Minister told the House that "no timetable can be chiselled in stone".[267] Yet, by November 2010, Ministers again appeared to be stating that conditions were irrelevant to the decision to withdraw troops. Giving evidence to us, the Foreign Secretary made it clear that the timetable for combat withdrawal was fixed regardless of what the situation is in 2015. When asked if there was any conceivable way that the deadline would be altered, the Foreign Secretary told us: "It won't be changed. The Prime Minister is being very clear about that".[268]

151. The situation was further confused by the Government's written evidence to us which stated that "since Transition is conditions based, timelines cannot be made and it is important that transition planning does not interfere with the primary task of providing security to the Afghan people".[269] We asked the FCO to explain this apparent contradiction and its response was as follows:

    In 2009 President Karzai set an objective that transition of the security lead across the country should be completed by the end of 2014. The NATO/ISAF Lisbon Summit in November 2010 endorsed this objective. The Lisbon Declaration said "The process of transition to full Afghan security responsibility and leadership in some provinces and districts is on track to begin in early 2011, following a joint Afghan and NATO/ISAF assessment and decision. Transition will be conditions-based, not calendar-driven, and will not equate to withdrawal of ISAF-troops. Looking to the end of 2014, Afghan forces will be assuming full responsibility for security across the whole of Afghanistan…" This means that identifying individual priorities and districts for transition to ANSF lead will be conditions-based and ISAF and the Afghan authorities have established mechanisms for this process. The process is intended to be completed by 2014. The Government has made clear UK forces will be out of combat by 2015. The latest ISAF assessments are that the 2014 objective is achievable.[270]

Why the change in policy?

152. Of all the changes made to the UK's Afghan policy following the election, the volte-face on conditions-based combat withdrawal outlined above is perhaps the most significant. It not only has the potential to significantly affect UK mission goals and British military efforts on the ground but also to influence the UK's relationship with key allies, particularly the US. It is therefore imperative that the Government explains what prompted such a significant change in policy.

153. The Government's response has been to focus less on the rationale behind the change and more on the benefits it believes the 2015 deadline can bring about. For instance, the Prime Minister contends that it is important to send a signal to both domestic and Afghan audiences "that we won't be in Afghanistan forever" to give "people some certainty".[271] The Foreign Secretary told us that by 2015 the UK will "have been in Helmand for much longer—50% longer—than the entire second world war, so we feel it right to say that, by then, we will not be involved in combat operations".[272] He added that the deadline would send a clear signal to allies and the Afghan government about the UK's intentions.[273] The Government has also argued that it is "safe" to say combat troops will be out in 2015 because the coalition forces planned to hand over to Afghan forces by 2014.[274] Meanwhile, FCO Minister, Lord Howell, speaking on 21 July had stated that the deadline amounted to "a firm harness of pressure on the Karzai government and the Taliban".[275] In November, the Prime Minister claimed that the 2015 deadline was an "alternative" to "endless pressure to set very short-term deadlines for transitioning this province or district at this time." He added, "I would rather we had a proper-worked out process and plan to deliver that".[276]

Who made the decision on the 2015 deadline?

154. In spite of the justifications outlined above, which emerged in a piecemeal fashion after the announcement, we were still no closer to understanding the basis upon which this decision was made and the security rationale behind it, particularly given that the mission is supposed to be about UK national security. Therefore, in November, we asked the Foreign Secretary about the decision-making process that led to this wholesale policy shift. In response, the Foreign Secretary told us that the decision was taken by Ministers in the National Security Council and the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister.[277] We then asked who took the decision:

Mr Hague: The decision was taken by Ministers in the National Security Council and the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister.

Mr Ainsworth: Was it taken in the National Security Council?

Mr Hague: It was taken by the Prime Minister in consultation with other senior Ministers, including me.

Mr Ainsworth: Were you consulted?

Mr Hague: Yes.

Mr Ainsworth: When were you consulted?

Mr Hague: Before the Prime Minister made his announcement.

Mr Ainsworth: Was the Defence Secretary consulted?

Mr Hague: I am sure the Defence Secretary was consulted, but I cannot tell you when everybody was consulted. You would have to ask the Prime Minister.[278]

155. In a subsequent evidence session with the Foreign Secretary, we asked for further clarification as to whether the decision was taken in the National Security Council:

Chair: ...[I]t would appear that although the decision to withdraw troops by 2015 at the latest might have been made by members of the National Security Council, it wasn't made in the National Security Council. Could you confirm that it wasn't made in it, and tell us why not?

Mr Hague: Members of the National Security Council have all discussed and debated that, and the Prime Minister will be familiar with all their views. He spoke about our intentions for 2015, with my, the Defence Secretary's and the Deputy Prime Minister's readiness to support and implement them; so, the decision was made in that way.

Chair: Fine, but you can confirm that the decision wasn't actually made in the Council.

Mr Hague: It wasn't a formal item in the National Security Council.[279]

156. We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government explains why the decision to announce a deadline for British combat withdrawal in 2015 was not taken within the National Security Council.

157. We conclude that the Government's policy statements on the withdrawal of combat forces are inconsistent and we invite it to explain why there was such a sudden and dramatic shift in policy in favour of an arbitrary deadline. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government explains what political and international factors prompted the Prime Minister to decide upon 2015 as a deadline, what the security rationale is, what advice he received from the military in advance of this decision, and what consultations the UK had with the US on this specific issue.

The possible consequences of announcing deadlines


158. In the course of our inquiry we discussed at length with witnesses and interlocutors whether it was prudent for ISAF countries to announce deadlines for withdrawal from Afghanistan. We heard a variety of concerns in response. Some of these were based on the belief that deadlines provide insurgents with succour, thereby degrading the appeal of reconciliation and providing an incentive to attempt to outlast international forces. For instance, while Matt Waldman accepted that "there will inevitably be some sort of phased withdrawal", he said he did "not believe that it is sensible from a strategic point of view to lay out your plans for the future before the enemy".[280] Others argued that the decision had provided a psychological boost to the Taliban by signalling a lack of long-term western commitment to the mission.[281] Others again were concerned that securing the trust of the Afghan people would be difficult if the West was perceived to be on the verge of leaving Afghans to fend for themselves.

159. On this point, the British Government has countered that ISAF is training the Afghan National Security Forces precisely to avoid this scenario. It adds that even after 2014 the international community will retain a large presence in Afghanistan to ensure its longer term stability and development. We were also told during our visit that any US drawdown would be slow and shallow, and would therefore avoid the risks inherent in a precipitate withdrawal.

160. We also heard more general concerns about the potential message that deadlines could send to the West's enemies beyond Afghanistan, to the effect that when faced with failure, the West capitulates.[282] The Henry Jackson Society stated it was important that self-imposed deadlines were not capable of being perceived to amount to an admission of failure: "The message that failure would send out both to terrorist movements and hostile state actors worldwide—that the West can be taken on and overcome by violent means—is not one that anyone with a care for safeguarding British national security should wish to send".[283]

161. Yet, it is worth noting that although the debate in the UK is very much focused on the 2015 date, most of the views we heard suggested that it was the Americans' 2011 deadline for the beginning of draw-down that was of greater strategic concern. In many respects this is unsurprising given that, as Gerard Russell notes, "The United States is providing 80% of the Coalition troops in Afghanistan and a very substantial part of the overall international expenditure there. Other countries are in charge of PRTs in at most two provinces each. The United Kingdom meantime provides a fraction of the troops and development assistance in Afghanistan and is in charge of only one PRT."[284] In a similar vein, Matt Waldman noted, "In a sense, what Britain does with its troops—we are a fraction of the international force in Afghanistan—won't be decisive either way. As you've seen, we are pulling out of areas of Helmand and we are being replaced by the Americans". In this context, it is worth recalling, as the Secretary of State for Defence stated recently, that Helmand accounts for only 3.5% of the population of Afghanistan, and those living in areas under the control of UK armed forces make up only 1% of the population.[285]

162. Although the 2015 deadline may be of less strategic significance within Afghanistan than the US announcement that it would start to drawdown troops in 2011, it does not necessarily follow that it is not of wider importance. Indeed, concerns have been raised in the House about how the UK can reconcile its unconditional 2015 position with that of NATO which continues to state that the deadline is "aspirational", that security transition to Afghan control in parts of the country could go into 2015 and beyond, and that 2014 is a goal which is realistic but not guaranteed.[286]

The impact on Pakistan

163. The other major concern that we heard from witnesses relates to the effect that the US's decision to announce the drawdown of troops has had on regional powers and, in particular, Pakistan. At the time, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said: "Pakistan looks forward to engaging closely with [the] US in understanding the full import of the new strategy and to ensure that there would be no adverse fallout on Pakistan." Media reports suggested that Pakistani officials were concerned that a dramatic increase in US troops in Afghanistan would push militants and refugees across its borders and complicate its own battle against the Taliban.[287]

164. We were told by both interlocutors and witnesses that the announcement of the 2011 date led Islamabad and Kabul promptly to start planning for a post-US future. Professor Shaun Gregory stated that "there is much evidence that Pakistan has supported the return of the Afghan Taliban from Pakistan in order to have a strong hand in Afghanistan post-NATO, to [... ] avoid the kind of chaos into which Afghanistan was plunged when the Soviets withdrew in 1989 and the US abandoned the region [which had appalling consequences for Pakistan], and to keep Indian influence in Afghanistan to a minimum and away from the Af-Pak border".[288] Given this historical context, and in light of increased drone attacks, the US's increasingly close relationship with India and what some Pakistanis perceive to be bribery in the form of conditional aid packages, some witnesses suggested that the deadline had given the Pakistani population and authorities further cause to resent the US. Others argued that news of a US drawdown was seen as "absolute confirmation that the United States" [would be] "turning its back" on Pakistan and was showing itself to be the fickle friend that many Pakistanis believe it to be.[289]

165. We gained the impression from witnesses and interlocutors that as long as Pakistan felt it would be left to pick up the pieces after an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, its inclination to promote Western interests, as opposed to its own, would be low. Indeed, Dr Gohel stated that unless Pakistan has confidence in NATO's commitment to winning in Afghanistan, it will continue to hedge its support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerate terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda.[290] In this context, we welcome not only the recently initiated Strategic Dialogue between the US and Pakistan but also the comments made in January by the US Vice-President in which he stated that "the only productive way forward is a long-term, enduring partnership," as well as his pledge that the US would not abandon Pakistan in the aftermath of the Afghanistan war.[291]

166. We are concerned that Pakistan may feel that its security interests in connection with Afghanistan are not being adequately addressed by the West, partly as a result of the US announcement that their troops will begin to draw down in July 2011. We therefore call on the FCO to work with its counterparts in the US State Department with a view to better understanding how to reassure Pakistan that the West takes seriously Pakistan's genuine concerns about the future stability of Afghanistan and the impact of what it perceives to be a precipitate withdrawal of Western military forces.


The impact in Afghanistan

167. The debate over deadlines is far from one-sided. In remarks made in December 2010, President Obama argued that much of the progress that the US states has been made in the past year is

    the result of us having sent a clear signal that we will begin the transition of responsibility to Afghans and start reducing American forces next July. This sense of urgency also helped galvanise the coalition around the goals that we agreed to the recent NATO summit in Lisbon—that we are moving towards a new phase in Afghanistan, a transition to full Afghan lead for security that will begin early [2011] and will conclude in 2014, even as NATO maintains a long-term commitment to training and advising Afghan forces.[292]

168. Indeed, during our visit, a wide variety of Afghan interlocutors ranging from senior policy-makers to ordinary Afghans who, understandably, wish to see Afghans decide upon Afghanistan's future, voiced their strong support for a 2014 transition date, the natural corollary of which is the gradual withdrawal of troops in the run-up to that period. This was echoed by a number of the witnesses we heard from at Westminster, including James Fergusson and Jolyon Leslie, who both argued that deadlines would give Afghans the space to come up with their own solutions to the current situation. Mr Leslie told us that withdrawal could not come "a day too soon".[293] He explained that, "we shouldn't forget that the 2014-15 date was immensely relieving to the Afghan people. It didn't come across as […] 'Oh my God, they are cutting and running.' It came across as, 'Thank goodness, we can get beyond this and we can work things out for ourselves'".[294] He added:

    As things stand at the moment, [...] we need to back off and give Afghans some space to work things out themselves. [...]The hope is with the kind of Afghans that I have worked with for years and years, not necessarily with combatants. At the moment, they are feeling very confined by the international military who tell them what to do day and night, and who intrude on their space. I do not think that we should underestimate that [...] in terms of losing hearts and minds.[295]

Mr Leslie also said:

    I believe that we should also pull back militarily, and face the consequences. I think that Afghans will work it out, much more than we would wish to acknowledge after our investments.[296]

169. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles also said it was a "courageous" decision and the "right thing" to do. He explained his reasoning thus:

    [M]ost Afghans believe that we and America are there to seek some long-term military presence, some kind of neo-colonial, long-term hegemony over the area. They don't believe that rationally […] but they do believe it, so announcing that we are going, that we are getting out of combat, is a good thing, in my view.[297]

He added:

    I support the idea of deadlines. I didn't initially when I first arrived there, but the Taliban can read the politics of the western troop-contributing democracies as well as anybody. They are perfectly aware that American troops are due to start leaving in July next year and that the next British General Election, all being well, will be in May 2015.[298]

170. Others, such as Gerard Russell, also supported the idea of an "early move by the international community towards a long-term, smaller, sustainable presence—oriented towards training and air strikes in support of Afghan ground forces, rather than direct combat", and argued that, in the long run, this would benefit Afghanistan given that one of the main causes of the conflict was the large-scale presence of troops, particularly in the south.[299]


171. As we noted earlier, there is a risk that come 2014, the US military may still not be ready to negotiate and may wish to push ahead with the counter-insurgency campaign, calling for more resources and more time, at the very point when the UK is set to leave. A divergence of this sort, in a relationship already shaken militarily in recent years by the legacy of British action in Basra, would in the view of Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, "have a major impact on the transatlantic relationship".[300]

172. Matt Cavanagh, formerly a Prime Ministerial Special Adviser to Gordon Brown, is one of those who believes that it is likely that "the military will ask for more time to get it right".[301] Some of those who gave evidence to us thought likewise.[302] From a British perspective, given that the UK's strategy is closely tied to that of the US, pressure could be put on the British military to support the US. According to Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, conversations between the US and British military "end up with things being pre-cooked between the US and the UK militaries before they are subject to political approval back in London, and/or you get different parts of the military lobbying for their own hobby-horses without clear political approval".[303] Sir Sherard added that to avoid this situation it would be necessary to

    gradually [...] move the British Army and British forces [...] from a ground-holding territorial operation to a functional operation, to switch them out of holding territory into a training role, which could be in the south as well as in the north, and to do that by evolution, rather than by revolution, always taking the Americans with us, but being very firm with them about what we want and what we don't want.[304]

173. In light of this, there is an argument to be made that by setting out the Government's position now, and making clear the plans of ISAF's second largest troop contributor, the UK's action could conceivably help President Obama deliver on his commitment to set an end-point for combat involvement. This is particularly important given the opposition the Administration faces domestically, not least from some quarters of the US military, who may make the case for additional troops, risking an ongoing escalation of the conflict, rather than the longer-term de-escalation that ISAF governments have opted to pursue.[305] Arguably, therefore, the British deadline of 2015 could help to reinforce the message that the way forward is to address the root causes of the conflict through a political settlement, rather than suppressing the symptoms, which as we noted above, in isolation, can only bring temporary relief at best.


174. There were no easy choices available to the Government when it came to deciding upon whether to announce a combat withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan. There are undoubtedly risks in pursuing such a strategy, not least that they may embolden the insurgency or encourage a more general perception among the West's enemies that its foreign policy commitments are wholly at the mercy of domestic public opinion. It is worth noting, however, that these risks are not entirely of the British Government's making. The current situation is a legacy of NATO's desire to conduct out of area operations, the UK's relationship with the US, and an international effort that has proved itself to be deficient in many respects, over a number of years, leaving little prospect of the Government achieving its stated goals. Successive British Governments must take their share of responsibility for these collective failings. It is, however, important to recall that the decision has been taken at a time when the UK faces a range of critical foreign policy challenges ranging from Iran and the Middle East to terrorist threats from the Arabian peninsula, in light of an economic challenge of almost unprecedented proportions, in the face of genuine concern about casualties and the success of the war in Afghanistan on the part of many people in the UK and in view of the desire of Afghans to take control of their own affairs.

Reconciliation: a pre-condition for reducing deadline-related risks

175. According to several witnesses, the best way to mitigate the potential risks that are associated with using deadlines is to ensure that the international community's combat withdrawal is accompanied by an urgent and wholehearted push forward towards a political settlement. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles told us that a deadline "is a risk, and it needs to be accompanied with a vigorous political process and strategy", otherwise, "every day that goes by without us launching a serious negotiation, the more likely it is that [the insurgents] will say, "we'll just sit this out and once the foreigners have gone, we'll fight it out".[306] Jolyon Leslie made a similar point when he stated, "I don't think that it should be rapid, but we should withdraw. We should pull back and, as I have said, we should give space, but [...] [w]e also really need to push the political track, rather than just twiddling our thumbs while President Karzai, bless him, appoints the High Peace Council. There has to be, of course, an element of sovereignty in all this, and I wouldn't want to propose cutting deals more than they are being cut, but there are other tracks to follow".[307]

176. We conclude that the security rationale behind the Government's decision to announce the 2015 deadline for the unconditional withdrawal of UK armed forces from combat operations in Afghanistan remains unclear and that there are a number of potential risks inherent in such an approach. We further conclude that as the decision has now been taken and could not be reversed without causing irreparable damage to the UK's standing at home and abroad, the task must be to ensure that the 2015 deadline has the effect of focusing both Afghan and international minds on the core tasks at hand. It is crucial, in this respect, that if the risks of using deadlines are to be minimised, there must be a concerted UK and US push forward on a genuine process of political reconciliation and a more effective and co-ordinated campaign designed to reassure Afghans that the focus of international engagement in Afghanistan may change in 2015, but Afghanistan will not simply be abandoned. It should remain a place in which the international community has obligations and interests.

254   For a more detailed examination of the withdrawal timetable of individual ISAF countries see, Claire Taylor, The Timetable for Security Transition, House of Commons Library, Standard Note 5851, 2 February 2011. Back

255   Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1 December 2009. Back

256   Ev 84  Back

257   Ev 1 Back

258   Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2009 Back

259   Interview on CNN, 20 January 2010 Back

260   BBC Politics Show, 23 May 2010 Back

261   HC Deb, 26 May 2010, col 274 Back

262   "300th fatality must not cloud our judgement" Ministry of Defence website, 22 June 2010 Back

263   HC Deb, 14 June 2010, col 608 Back

264   Sky News, 25 June 2010 Back

265   Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 26 June 2010 Back

266   HC Deb, 7 July 2010, col 367 Back

267   HC Deb, 21, July 2010, col 343 Back

268   Q 148 Back

269   Ev 6 Back

270   Ev 86 Back

271   BBC News Online, 21 July 2010 Back

272   Q 148 Back

273   Q 148 Back

274   "Cameron denies mixed messages on Afghan pull-out", BBC News Online, 21 July 2010 Back

275   HL Deb, 21 July 2010, col 985 Back

276   HC Deb, 22 November 2010, col 983 Back

277   Q 142 Back

278   Qq 143-47 Back

279   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Foreign Affairs Committee on 7 February 2011, HC (2010-11), 665-v, Q 259 Back

280   Q 58. See also Ev 81 [Dr Gohel]. Back

281   Ev 81 Back

282   Ev w3-4 Back

283   Ev w2 Back

284   Ev 56 Back

285   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee on 17 December 2010, Q 312 Back

286   Daily Telegraph, 19 November 2010 Back

287   The Nation, 2 December 2009 Back

288   Ev 83 Back

289   Synnott, Hilary, "After the Flood", Survival, vol 52 (2010), 249-256; Q 88 Back

290   Ev 81 Back

291   Washington Post, 13 January 2011 Back

292   Statement by President Obama on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review, 16 December 2010 Back

293   Q 59 Back

294   Q 44  Back

295   Q 29 Back

296   Q 29 Back

297   Q 95 Back

298   Q 95 Back

299   Ev 57  Back

300   Q 104 Back

301   Matt Cavanagh, "Inside the Anglo-Saxon war machine", Prospect, December 2010 Back

302   See for example Q 120 ff. Back

303   Q 104 Back

304   Q 104 Back

305   Q 120 [Gerard Russell], [Gilles Dorronsoro] Back

306   Q 103 Back

307   Q 44 Back

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