London, 3 September
The Nato commander in Afghanistan has warned that the current casualty rates suffered by the Afghan army and police force are “unsustainable”, in an interview. US General Joseph Dunford told that Afghan security forces may need five more years of Western support before being able to take over full responsibility. Mr Dunford said of the toll, which has often hit 100 per week. “I’m not assuming that those casualties are sustainable.”
The general said “time is going to tell” whether Nato had been right to switch in June from playing a combat role to a “train, advise, assist” operation. “I don’t think you can tell that today,” he said. US President Barack Obama has promised that Afghans will take full responsibility for their security by the end of 2014, although some Nato troops will remain to provide training.