Gordon Brown did not understand Afghan war, says former British Army chief

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Gordon Brown failed to grasp the significance of the war in Afghanistan until a few months ago, according to General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former Chief of the General Staff who now advises the Conservative Party.

General Dannatt claimed that the Prime Minister did not understand the importance of the Afghan military campaign until late this summer, even though British troops had been fighting there since the 2001 invasion.

The general was outspoken in his criticism of the Government over alleged equipment shortages for troops on the front line before he retired last month, but said today that he was pleased that progress was now being made.

Speaking after news emerged of the 100th British soldier to die in Afghanistan this year, he said his relations with the Government had been “frustrating” not just over Afghanistan but over “considerably out-of-balance” defence budgets over several years.

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