British PM defends Afghanistan strategy as deaths mount
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday that Britain had the right strategy in Afghanistan despite the loss of eight soldiers in the space of 24 hours.world Updated: Jul 11, 2009 21:17 IST
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Saturday that Britain had the right strategy in Afghanistan despite the loss of eight soldiers in the space of 24 hours.
“While I know there are some who have questioned our strategy, I continue to believe our strategy is the right one,” Brown said in a letter to lawmakers.
He admitted the last few days had been “extraordinarily difficult” as the British death toll had mounted to 184, surpassing the number of British dead in Iraq.
But he said British commanders on the ground in Afghanistan were reporting that the military operations “are succeeding in their objectives.”
“They are having a marked impact on the Taliban in central Helmand, will improve security for the population in the run-up to the elections, and will allow longer-term work on governance and development to begin,” Brown wrote.
A total of 15 British soldiers have died this month, since British forces launched a major assault on the Taliban in their southern stronghold of Helmand.
Insurgent attacks have increased ahead of the elections in August.