UK to stay in Afghanistan for 'a generation'
Thu, 27 Aug 2009 00:53:25 GMT
The British Ambassador to Afghanistan Mark Sedwill expects his country's presence in Afghanistan to last for at least "a generation."
"We would expect there to be a British presence here (Afghanistan) ... trying to bring this country up for at least a generation," Sedwill said on Wednesday, adding that they would be active in the "training and mentoring" role for many years.
However, he expressed hope that the British military would no longer be in a combat role within the next three to five years.
"I hope that British forces are no longer in combat roles three to five years from now because the Afghan forces should by then be big enough and capable enough to take on that front-line task," he said.
The ambassador's comments come as recent opinion polls indicate that the majority of Britons are against their country's involvement in the Afghan war. Based on a recent survey, two-thirds of Britons think the war would not safeguard them against terrorism.