PM: Afghan mission to continue

David Cameron has told ITV News the international mission in Afghanistan will continue despite the Taliban's decision to pull out of peace talks.

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Afghanistan strategy in severe jeopardy

by - Washington Correspondent

It is possible that President Karzai is making these comments for a domestic political audience but if he actually means that Nato forces must stay inside their bases, then that would utterly undermine the counter-insurgency strategy.

The strategy is about winning support, elder-by-elder, village-by-village, valley-by-valley, if Nato forces cannot patrol then they will cede vast swathes of territory to the Taliban and that would be militarily catastrophic.

I think the collapse in talks with the Taliban is less significant, after all there was no sign they were going anywhere anyway.

The central problem tonight is that the President and Prime Minister were yesterday standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Rose Garden saying progress was being made in Afghanistan, but in just 24 hours the central diplomatic and central military strategy is looking in severe jeopardy.

PM's tough task on delivering al-Qaeda message

by - Political Editor

Anyone who has been to Ground Zero will testify it is a remarkable memorial and given its iconic importance in America it is no surprise David Cameron has come here today.

The subliminal message and the often stated message is that al-Qaeda is not defeated but its ability to harm all of us has been degraded.

It is a difficult message to get across on a day when in Afghanistan things are not going very well.

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Pentagon spokesman plays down President Karzai's comments

US officials have downplayed President Karzai's call for Afghan troops to take the lead for nationwide security in 2013.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said President Obama's transition plan was "consistent with President Karzai's comments today."

He also said it reflected "President Karzai's strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan".

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