Salmond joins calls for Afghanistan withdrawal

Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, used a Remembrance Sunday BBC interview to hint that he might begin calling for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, has used a Remembrance Sunday interview with The Politics Show Scotland to hint that his party might begin calling for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Speaking after he led Scotland in its remembrance of all those who have given their life in conflict, Salmond told the BBC:

“There has to be the fundamental reassessment of the role, mission, strategy – nothing should be off the table, that should include the possibility of a withdrawal.”

Salmond’s calls were made as the Independent on Sunday backed calls for a full troop withdrawal, concluding that:

“It is time, on this solemn day on which we remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for our freedom and security, for a change in policy. It is time to say that this war is ill conceived, unwinnable and counterproductive. It is time to start planning a phased withdrawal of British troops.”

Last Tuesday, the Guardian carried a piece by Labour MP Kim Howells asserting that the time had come for UK forces to withdraw from Afghanistan. But US-based foreign policy analyst, Frank Spring, has written on this blog that Howell’s diagnosis is “rash, and his prescription is unsupportable.” He went on:

“[Withdrawal] would, in effect, announce the UK’s resignation from the diplomatic and military leadership circle of the world.

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