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Monday, October 20, 2008

"We're not going to win this war"

UK Commander backs Taliban talks

Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade

"We're not going to win this war," Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith was quoted as saying in a British newspaper on Sunday.

He also reportedly said a deal with the Taliban might be on the table.

"If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this,'' Carleton-Smith was quoted in The Sunday Times newspaper as saying.

The inclusive approach appeared to be echoed by General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghanistan's defence minister, who said the idea that Afghanistan had to find political solutions to end the fighting had long been endorsed by Hamid Karzai, the president.

"For a total solution we must work on different fronts - political, economic and military," Wardak said on Sunday at a news conference.

"Economically, we must improve the lives of the people, help find them work. Politically, we need to reach a middle ground and have everyone accept the Afghan constitution," he said.

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