Southern Daily Echo – 10 December 2012
A Hampshire MP is campaigning for a dramatic shift in military strategy for Afghanistan. Julian Lewis fears al-Qaeda terrorists are just waiting for Western troops to leave the war-torn country in 2014.
The New Forest East MP has been studying the decision to set a firm deadline for withdrawal, and warned:
“The whole thing could unravel”.
He believes enemy forces will redouble their attacks as soon as they are gone.
Instead, Dr Lewis is calling for “strategic bases” to be set up, containing NATO troops, to prevent a “cliff edge” scenario when Afghan national forces are handed control in 2014.
Dr Lewis said:
“The Taliban have been told when most of our troops will be leaving, and they need to be told what sanctions to expect if they help al-Qaeda to return. What would those sanctions be and would an allied regional strategic base serve to make them credible?
“My concern is that from trying to do too much, we are now doing too little – and the whole thing could unravel.”