Brown defends Afghanistan strategy as deaths mount


-File photo

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said Britain had the right strategy in Afghanistan despite the loss of eight soldiers in the short span 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 long-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.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2009