This is just in from long time poster DP111:
David Cameron appeals to Taliban to cease fighting in Afghanistan
Cameron should see Harry Potter, and ask him to wave his magic wand, and make the Taliban good little democrats.
We are led by a man whose foreign policy is based on the advice of Geldof and Live Aid. Now we realize it is based on wishful thinking as well. Â Â The PM and his deputy are children. They should not be in charge of anything except as school monitors.
From the Grunard: David Cameron appeals to Taliban to cease fighting in Afghanistan
David Cameron unveils plans for Afghanistan SandhurstÂ Link to this video
The apparent capture and killing of a British soldier inÂ Afghanistan showed the “high price” being paid to stabilise the country,Â David Cameron said on Tuesday, as he appealed to the Taliban to stop fighting.
Speaking at a press conference in Kabul alongside the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, Cameron said: “This was very sad news and I want the thoughts and condolences of everyone on my team here to be with the family of that soldier who received this very sad news.”
Karzai said: “I express my condolences on the very recent loss of a British soldier.”
The prime minister insisted the campaign against the Taliban in Helmand province was having some “success” and transition to Afghan security control was “on track”.
Cameron delivered his most direct appeal yet to Taliban elements to join the political process in Afghanistan. “It is very difficult to reconcile with people who have been killing your own soldiers or your own countrymen,” he said. “To the Taliban, the message is very clear: Stop killing, stop bombing, stop fighting, put down your weapons, join the political process and you can be part of the future of this country.
“I have seen it in my own country, in Northern Ireland, where people who were involved in trying to kill, to maim and bomb civilians and police officers, army personnel and even politicians have actually become politicians themselves and are involved in the governance of that country.
“It can happen and the message to the Taliban is: you cannot win this fight, you are losing this fight.”
Cameron said the death of the soldier on Monday was “a reminder of the high price that we have paid for the vital work we do in Afghanistan and in Helmand province”.
The body of the soldier, from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was found on Monday night after a massive manhunt. His family has been informed.
Taliban groups have claimed responsibility for killing the man, who had been reported missing from aÂ military checkpoint in the early hours of the morning.
Nato spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick said: “He had suffered gunshot wounds. His exact cause of death is still to be established and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and death are currently under investigation.”
The disappearance emerged as Cameron arrived at the Camp Bastion base in Helmand, and forced him to abandon a visit to nearby Lashkar Gah so resources could be deployed in the search.
Cameron stressed that coalition forces were making progress and there seemed to be a reduction in the intensity of the summer fighting season this year.
He said he would be announcing in the Commons on Wednesday a “modest reduction” in British troops for 2012, on top of the 450 already due to withdraw this year.
He defended the 2014 deadline for UK forces ending their combat role. “I do believe it is the right time,” he said. “I have worked extremely closely with the military to get this right. Many things have to be got right to ensure that transition can be done properly. But I believe we are on track. It can be done.”
Cameron and Karzai unveiled the creation of an Afghan national officer academy. The institution will be modelled on Britain’s Sandhurst and aims to produce high quality platoon leaders.
It will open its doors in 2013, and accept 1,350 recruits annually, with 120 UK troops involved in the training.
Cameron said it would provide the “Afghan army officers of the future”.
Asked whether UK aid to Afghanistan would be rising as troop numbers fell, Cameron said: “This is a great example of a country that if we walk away from, and if we ignore, if we forget about, the problems will come visited back on our doorstep.”
He said aid would help tackle problems such as terrorism at source.
“Even to people who are hard-headed, and possibly even hard-hearted, about aid, I say the programme we have in Afghanistan …is good for people back home in Britain as well,” he said.
He said aid to Afghanistan would increase as the UK moved towards its 0.7% GDP target for giving. UK aid to Afghanistan has increased from Â£102m last year to Â£178m this year, according to officials.
During the two-day visit to Afghanistan, Cameron has also held talks with US general David Petraeus about the military campaign.
For those who have the stomach for a hard dose of reality:
InÂ Human Events this morning I discuss the failure of our Afghan mission — a failure which comes as no surprise to anyone who knows about the doctrine of jihad:
Shortly after President Obama announced a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a group of jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers entered the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul last Tuesday, murdering at least 10 and terrorizing an untold number of others. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared that the jihadists had “gone through several stories of the building and they are breaking into each room and they are targeting the 300 Afghans and foreigners who are staying.”This latest jihad attack was emblematic of a failed mission. American troops are leaving, having accomplished little or nothing in terms of establishing a stable and democratic government in Afghanistan, despite the loss of thousands of lives of noble and courageous American military personnel who deserved better from those in command, and the wanton waste of billions of dollars. The Taliban, toppled from power eight years ago, is still a potent force. The Taliban is so strong that even President Hamid Karzai has made overtures to it, as has Obama. Eight years after it was toppled from power, its claim of Islamic authenticity strongly resonates with the Afghan people, and provides an ever-renewable wellspring of material, financial and moral support for these vicious thugs as they bomb girls’ schools, music stores and other outcroppings of Jahiliyyaâ€”the infidels’ society of ignorance.
The Karzai government that Americans have fought and died for is little better. Two American administrations have spoken about bringing democracy and freedom to Afghanistan, and yet have not been able or willing to face the fact that the foremost obstacle to those goals is Islam, which respects neither.
George W. Bush oversaw the implementation of an Afghan Constitution that enshrined Islamic law as the highest law of the land. Yet Islamic law is nothing like the democratic principles that Bush had taken us into Afghanistan to defend (over here) and establish (over there). Sharia institutionalizes the oppression of women and non-Muslims, extinguishes the freedom of speech, and denies the freedom of conscience.
Was that what we were fighting for?
Nonetheless, America continued to pour out her blood and treasure for this repressive state, with no clear objective or mission in view other than a never-defined “victory.” What would victory have looked like? What could it possibly have looked like? Did the Hamid Karzai regime ever allow women to throw off their burkas and take their place in Afghan society as human beings equal in dignity with men? Does the Karzai government, or any Afghan government that would follow it, ever intend to guarantee basic human rights to the tiny and ever-dwindling number of non-Muslims unfortunate enough to live within its borders? Of course not. And no matter how long American troops stayed in Afghanistan, no Afghan regime was ever going to do such things.