No 'military-only solution' in Afghan war

Oct. 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- There is no singular military solution to ending the insurgency in Afghanistan, the British foreign secretary declared.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sky News in an interview that there was a general sense among military leaders that things in Afghanistan were improving.

British forces are centered in Helmand province acting in part in a training capacity for fledgling Afghan forces. Hague told the news agency that political solutions and Afghan-led processes were taking center stage in the counterinsurgency battle.

"There isn't a military-only solution to what is happening in Afghanistan, there needs to be a political process as well, and it may be that coming under intense military pressure encourages some of them to join that process," he was quoted as saying.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is pushing ahead with a reintegration and reconciliation program with members of the Taliban who renounce al-Qaida and embrace the rule of law. A 70-member committee led by former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani is tasked with steering the effort.

"It's an Afghan-led process, the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan, but we and NATO can provide practical help in that," the British foreign secretary said.

His comments come as Washington kicks off its third round of strategic talks with Pakistani officials visiting Washington.

"President Barack Obama and the Pakistani delegation agreed on the need for regional stability and specifically on the importance of cooperating toward a peaceful and stable outcome in Afghanistan," a White House statement read.

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