Sunday, October 4, 2009
The head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, has issued a wake-up call to the public by warning of the "terrifying prospect" of a defeat in Afghanistan.
In an unprecedented intervention, the chief of the general staff described the conflict as "this generation's war" and added that failure by Nato would have an "intoxicating effect" on militant Islam.
In his first interview as the head of the Army, Sir David told The Sunday Telegraph that if Britain and Nato failed in Afghanistan the risks to the western world would be "enormous" and "unimaginable".
He said: "If al-Qaeda and the Taliban believe they have defeated us – what next? Would they stop at Afghanistan? Pakistan is clearly a tempting target not least because of the fact that it is a nuclear-weaponed state and that is a terrifying prospect. Even if only a few of those (nuclear) weapons fell into their hands, believe me they would use them. The recent airlines plot has reminded us that there are people out there who would happily blow all of us up."
The general's intervention comes at a crucial time, with the US General in charge of operations in Afghanistan calling for more troops to be sent to the country to fight the Taliban.
For the rest of te report click here for the Telegraph website