Charles Bremne and Richard Beeston
October 1, 2008
The official version of the US-led campaign in Afghanistan received a blow today with a leaked report that the British Ambassador in Kabul believes that US strategy is wrong and the war is as good as lost.
The potentially explosive views were published by Le Canard Enchaîné, a respected French weekly, which said that they were direct quotations from a diplomatic cable written by François Fitou, the French Deputy Ambassador in Kabul.
Mr Fitou reported to President Sarkozy’s office and his own Foreign Ministry that Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British Ambassador, believed that “American strategy is destined to fail” in Afghanistan, according to the newspaper.
It published a reproduction of what it said was the coded cable, in which the French diplomat summarised the ambassador’s main points from a September 2 meeting.
“The current situation is bad. The security situation is getting worse. So is corruption and the Government has lost all trust. Our public statements should not delude us over the fact that the insurrection, while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital.
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