Britain's new ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, calls the UK mission "a marathon not a sprint."
"'I've said the task of standing up a government of Afghanistan that is sustainable is going to take a very long time,' he said.
"'It's a marathon rather than a sprint. We should be thinking in terms of decades.'
"He added: 'We're not [talking] about a long-term military presence but we are serious about a long-term development presence, because this country does matter to us and to the region in so many ways.'
"'Mistakes have been made. I know that, we all know that, we regret them deeply,' he said. "But the Taliban are responsible for five times as many civilian casualties as the coalition forces here.'"
"The population's main concern 'is not about us staying. It's about us going,' he said. 'The great thing about the Taliban is that they haven't been reading their Chairman Mao. They don't have popular support. They're trying to swim in a sea that doesn't exist.'
"He claimed that recent Taliban attacks, such as the suicide bombing of a police academy bus in Kabul at the weekend which killed 35 people, was a sign the organisation was getting desperate and was 'on the back foot'.
Coles' claims sound just like a brand new bucket of the same old crap we've been hearing for the past six years. Ever notice how each one of these guys takes his turn assuring us the Taliban are done, finished and yet they somehow defy the predictions and come back stronger and more murderous than ever? But Sir Sherard clearly knows who's paying his rent.
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