Obama 'risks Suez-like disaster' in Afghanistan, says key adviser

Breaking News

A key adviser to Nato forces warned today that Barack Obama risks a Suez-style debacle in Afghanistan if he fails to deploy enough extra troops and opts instead for a messy compromise.

David Kilcullen, one of the world's leading authorities on counter-insurgency and an adviser to the British government as well as the US state department, said Obama's delay in reaching a decision over extra troops had been "messy". He said it not only worried US allies but created uncertainty the Taliban could exploit.

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, he compared the president to someone "pontificating" over whether to send enough firefighters into a burning building to put a fire out.

He was speaking as Obama left Washington for a nine-day trip to Asia without announcing a decision on troop numbers. The options being considered by the US have been narrowed down to four: sending 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 or 40,000, the latter the figure requested by the Nato commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. These would be on top of 68,000 US troops already deployed.

comments powered by Disqus