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24 May, 2010 21:52

UK wants quick exit from Afghanistan

UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said his country is not the world's police force and that he would like to see a quick withdraw of British troops from Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom supplies the most troops of any European nation to the mission in Afghanistan and in fact provides more than the rest of Europe combined.

“What Liam Fox actually said is, we want UK troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. That’s exactly what Barack Obama said, exactly what Chancellor Merkel says,” said Sally McNamara, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Unlike Obama, who says the mission is Afghanistan is primarily humanitarian, Fox said that the goals for coalition forces in the country are mostly military. McNamara said the UK government is being honest with the people, explaining that the war is a military mission first.

“It’s no good building a school if you have the Taliban who are throwing acid over young girls who go to school ,which is what is happening now. I think they are both saying the same thing in different ways. We can only have the development and we can only have that side of things once we shore up the security situation over there,” said McNamara.

The UK and the US have the same basic mission and goals in mind; however, they are presenting them in different ways. McNamara said that despite these disagreements, the special relationship between the countries is still intact.

Although there is a great deal of terrorist activity originating in Pakistan, McNamara made it clear that the UK entered Afghanistan under the UN mandate along with the US because it was in their national interest to target the “heart” of terrorism.

“Are we going to invade Pakistan? I don’t think anyone is going to do that anytime soon,” said McNamara.