Defeating al Qaeda
Rare common sense:
But Gen Richards told the BBC it was not possible to defeat the Taliban or al-Qaeda militarily.
"You can't. We've all said this. David Petraeus has said it, I've said it.
"The trick is the balance of things that you're doing and I say that the military are just about, you know, there.
"The biggest problem's been ensuring that the governance and all the development side can keep up with it within a time frame and these things take generations sometimes within a time frame that is acceptable to domestic, public and political opinion," he said.
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy told the BBC Gen Richards was "right" that there was no purely military solution and said there would be "no white flag surrender moment".
"This is a complicated issue. It will be for the long haul. It's got to do with history.
"But I think he's right to talk about the different ways that this has got to be taken on - militarily yes but diplomatically and in a peaceful sense of nation building in Afghanistan is also important," he said.
Posted on November 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM • 47 Comments