British commander urges on winning Afghan hearts–>TheNews

I don’t know how they will win the hearts by bombing innocent people and killing children. The solution is to sort out an exit strategy taking the real stake holders of Afghanistan in confidence not the phony ones in the form of Karzais or Abdullah Abdullah.


British commander urges on winning Afghan hearts


LONDON: The British government has faced repeated accusations that troops are being put at increased risk because of insufficient equipment and helicopters.

But Lieutenant General Nick Parker, the British deputy commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan insisted shortages of kit were not to blame for his 26-year-old son Harry losing both legs in a booby-trap bomb in July.

Parker told the News of the World that the equipment supplied to British troops was right for the job they are doing.

He suggested that the key to stemming casualties and achieving military success in the country was not more helicopters but a strategy to win the hearts and minds of local people by getting out into their communities.

“Rather than asking for more helicopters — which may be a requirement — what we’ve got to do is develop tactics that get you out and amongst the people and re-establish ourselves as a force for good in the community,” he told the newspaper.

“I know my view, as a fat general sitting behind a desk, will be treated with derision… (but) I genuinely believe there is no need to buy extra kit.

“I’m absolutely convinced that what Harry was given was right for what he was doing. However, nothing was ever going to stop his leg getting blown off.”

A total of 232 British personnel have lost their lives in Afghanistan since 2001.