Wednesday, October 18, 2006

AP: NATO general says coalition dropped ball in Afghanistan |

NATO general says coalition dropped ball in Afghanistan | "The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan failed to follow through as it should have after ousting the Taliban government in 2001, setting the stage for this year's deadly resurgence, the NATO commander in the country said Tuesday.

The mistake consisted of adopting 'a peacetime approach' too early, British Gen. David Richards told Pentagon reporters. He said the international community has six months to correct the problem before losing Afghan support, reiterating a warning he issued last week.

'The Taliban were defeated. ... And it looked all pretty hunky-dory,' Richards said of the environment at the end of 2001. 'We thought it was all done ... and didn't treat it as aggressively as ... we should have done.'

Progress on security, rebuilding and good government didn't meet Afghan expectations, and this year the 'Taliban exploited ... this sense of frustration amongst the people,' Richards said in a televised conference from Afghanistan."


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