US Doomed in Afghanistan: British Envoy

Leaked French cable quotes diplomat opposing surge
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 7:11 PM CDT
ISAF soldiers with the German Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) patrol the outskirts of Feyzabad, northern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008.    (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – The British ambassador to Afghanistan believes “the American strategy is destined to fail,” the Telegraph reports, based on a leaked memo written by a French diplomat. In the memo, the French diplomat records statements by Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles at a Sept. 1 meeting in which the British envoy said increasing coalition troops would only worsen this situation.

“We should dissuade the American presidential candidates from getting more bogged down in Afghanistan," he is reported to have said. An Iraq-style surge "would identify us even more clearly as an occupying force and it would multiply the number of targets for the insurgents." The coalition is merely propping up a corrupt government that has "lost all trust," thereby "slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis." Britain’s Foreign Office says Cowper-Coles' views were distorted by the French diplomat, and issued support for Hamid Karzai’s government.