British Chief of Defence Staff sees no end to Afghan fight

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London, Oct 11 : British Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Jock Stirrup has said that the international military mission in Afghanistan had no end point.

He said that both in Iraq and Afghanistan British troops were on a journey that never finishes.

These things are more complicated In both cases it's a journey. If you're talking about the development of a country, it's a journey that never finishes. There's no end point, he added

Stirrups comments come a week after Britains top military commander in Afghanistan Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said that the public should not expect a decisive military victory in Afghanistan.

The 58-year-old air chief marshal said that the mission in Afghanistan, where Britain has 7800 troops fighting Taliban insurgents, was not a win or lose battle. Britains 4100 troops in Iraq are likely to leave within a year with Iraqi forces "very close" to being able to handle the security situation alone, The News quoted Stirrup as saying.

Warning that Afghanistan would be a longer operation than Iraq, he said: Afghanistan is a very backward country (militarily) it's going to be some years before we finish that project.

He said people should change their expectations of what could be achieved in Afghanistan. We should avoid the use of words like 'win' and 'lose' in the context of Afghanistan. It's not that sort of enterprise, he added.

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