UK poll: Afghan war is 'unwinnable'

Survey shows most British people believe offensive against Taliban is a lost cause.

    The bodies of four British soldiers were flown home to an airbase in the UK on Tuesday [AFP]

    Lacking equipment

    About 75 per cent believe British troops lack the equipment they need to perform their role in Afghanistan safely, compared to 16 per cent who think they have adequate resources, the poll said.

    However, 60 per cent of those polled do not think more troops and resources should be sent to the front line.
    Britain announced on Monday the end of a major offensive against the Taliban in the south of Afghanistan entitled operation "Panther's Claw".

    Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, who has been forced to defend the country's Afghan policies as troop casualties soar, said the operation had been a success.

    Troops are now beginning the second stage of the operation, attempting to hold the ground gained over recent weeks, ahead of presidential elections in the country next month.

    'Original injuries'

    Meanwhile, a debate over injury compensation for British soldiers continued on Tuesday.

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a legal appeal against a compensation scheme for the armed forces, a move which could effectively slash awards to two injured soldiers and limit future payments to combat victims.

    One of the soldiers, who was shot in Iraq, was paid $75,000, and the other, who was injured in training, received $47,000.

    The payouts had been increased after complications but the MoD is arguing that compensation should only be for "original injuries".

    Major David Bradley, a soldier who sustained serious injuries in Iraq, said the compensation awards "are not generous in the first place".

    "To try and claim that any subsequent worsening of their injury is not liable to the MoD is illogical, it just doesn't make sense," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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