London, Nov. 28 (ANI): The head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, has acknowledged that NATO forces have lost their way in Afghanistan, and that they needed to rediscover the moral and physical conviction to succeed against the Taliban.
The Chief of the General Staff was comparing NATO's initial success against Taliban in Afghanistan with the present counter-insurgency campaign that has led to thousands of casualties among Nato troops.
"Look at the huge popularity of the Nato intervention in 2001. What we've done is lost our way a bit and need to find it again and have the moral and physical conviction that we can do these things," The Times quoted General Richards, as saying.
In his interview with a Muslim newspaper, General Richards clearly sent across a message that British troops were in Afghanistan to protect Muslims from the Taliban.
"The Taliban kill many more Muslims than we do... If the Afghan people asked us to go tomorrow, we would have to go. We are there under a United Nations mandate," he said.
He admitted that more was needed to be done to convince Muslims in Britain about the deployment of 9,000 British troops in Afghanistan - soon to rise to 9,500.
"This is a war that needs to be fought and can be won. We haven't sold this very well and we need to do better," he said.
General Richards said that one of the successes of the NATO campaign was that the Taliban was not able to use southern Afghanistan as a training ground.
"If we gave up Afghanistan tomorrow, I absolutely guarantee that if you are an AQ [al-Qaeda] member or Taleban, they will pour back into southern Afghanistan and they will have the freedom to plan and train and conduct operations which now they don't have," he said. (ANI)