The UK's foreign policy approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan: fourth report of session 2010-11, Vol. 1: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

Front Cover
In this report the Foreign Affairs Committee calls on the British Government to use its influence to persuade the US to engage more fully, and swiftly, with the process of political reconciliation in Afghanistan if the US wishes to disengage its forces there. Although the current international emphasis favours intense military pressure, aimed at defeating the insurgency, it is clear that military pressure alone is not enough to bring security and stability to Afghanistan. The evidence presented to the Committee has suggested that the current full-scale and highly-intensive ISAF counter-insurgency campaign is not succeeding. The Committee question the fundamental assumption that success in Afghanistan can be 'bought' through a strategy of 'clear, hold and build'. The distinction between al-Qaeda and the Taliban is crucial to generating appropriate policy responses in Afghanistan. The Committee says that despite the significant resources that have been invested in Afghanistan, and the enduring, wholehearted and admirable commitment and sacrifices of British personnel, the UK has not yet achieved its stated goals. There is also evidence that the core foreign policy justification for the UK's continued presence in Afghanistan, namely that it is necessary in the interests of UK national security, may have been achieved some time ago, given the apparently limited strength of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The security rationale behind the UK Government's decision to announce the 2015 deadline for the unconditional withdrawal of UK combat forces remains unclear and there are a number of potential risks inherent in such an approach.
 

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Contents

Report Page
5
Introduction
16
A SNAPSHOT OF THE CURRENT SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
23
The extent of Pakistans support for the counterinsurgency campaign
30
creating the conditions for withdrawal?
38
Prospects for a political settlement?
50
ASSESSING THE UKS FOREIGN POLICY APPROACH
64
Assessing the suitability of the UKs mission and goals
76
Communicating the case effectively?
84
Learning lessons for the future
96
Formal Minutes
104
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