Washington, Oct 2 : A French diplomat in Kabul has reportedly apprised his President Nicholas Sarkozy's office that British envoy to Afghanistan has strongly opposed the operation by alliance forces there, saying that it would fail and that the best option was to appoint a "dictator" for strife-torn Afghanistan.
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British envoy, reportedly shared his bleak assessment of the seven-year NATO campaign in Afghanistan in a briefing with a French diplomat, claim French leaks.
Sir Sherard (53), a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was sent to Kabul last year to beef up Britain's role in the campaign to secure the Afghan President Karzai's government and combat the resurgent Taleban. In an interview last year he had said that Britain could expect to stay in Afghanistan for decades.
Francois Fitou, the deputy French Ambassador to Kabul, told President Sarkozy's office and the Foreign Ministry in a coded cable that Sir Sherard believed that "the current situation is bad.........the security situation is getting worse............so is corruption and the Government has lost all trust".
According to Fitou, in a meeting on September 2, Sir Sherard told him that the NATO-led military operation was making things worse. "The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime which would collapse without them. They are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis, which will probably be dramatic," Fitou quoted the British envoy as saying, according to timesonline.com.
Sir Sherard added: "Britain had no alternative to supporting the US in Afghanistan, but we should tell them that we want to be part of a winning strategy, not a losing one. In the short term we should dissuade the American presidential candidates from getting more bogged down in Afghanistan..............the American strategy is doomed to fail."