14.11.10

Special Report from the BBC Middle East - West Cannot Defeat Al-Qaeda, Says UK Forces Chief

BBC. 14 November 2010 Last updated at 07:02 ET

The West can only contain, not defeat, militant groups such as al-Qaeda, the head of the UK's armed forces has said.

General Sir David Richards, a former Nato commander in Afghanistan, said Islamist militancy would pose a threat to the UK for at least 30 years.

But he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show a clear-cut victory over militants was not achievable.

The BBC's Frank Gardner said the comments reflect a "new realism" in UK and US counter-terrorism circles.

Our security correspondent said such an admission five years ago might have been considered outrageous and defeatist.

Gen Richards, 58, took over as chief of the defence staff last month, after a spell as head of the British army.

'Secure lives'
Before he was due to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph as part of the UK's Remembrance Sunday commemorations, Gen Richards told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show it was important to get the balance of remembrance right.

"It's something we've got to be very careful about... there's a lot of dwelling on death as opposed to what those people who have died achieved in their sadly too often too brief lives, but those people have done immense things that are good and I think we need to focus a bit more on that," he said.

Britain has lost 343 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2001.

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.

He said extremist Islamism could not be eradicated as an idea.

"I don't think you can probably defeat an idea, it's something we need to battle back against as necessary, but in its milder forms why shouldn't they be allowed to have that sort of philosophy underpinning their lives.

"It's how it manifests itself that is the key and can we contain that manifestation - and quite clearly al-Qaeda is an unacceptable manifestation of it," he said.

Security lapse
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.

Former British Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, agreed warfare had entered a new era and needed the support of development programmes.

"In conventional wars, you talk about winning and losing.

"What we're trying to do here is succeed sufficiently to put Afghanistan as a sufficiently stable state that can look after itself and doesn't become ungoverned space into which al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups could reoccupy," he said.

Gen Richards comments came as the Foreign Office apologised to a group of MPs after a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan had to be called off because of a security lapse.

Next week's visit by members of the Commons defence select committee was cancelled after an unencrypted e-mail was sent out by an embassy official in Kabul, prompting fears that the MPs' safety may have been compromised.

The Foreign Office said it would be trying to rearrange a visit for the MPs.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We have offered our apologies for this regrettable lapse in our procedures and have assured the committee that we will do all we can to arrange a successful visit in the future."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Posts

IT Security News

Trending Jihad and Global Islamic Radicalism Videos

Loading...

Computer Security News

Islam News

Jihad News

Terrorism News

Global Security News

The Long War Journal

Middle East News

Al Jazeera

Web Intelligence/Hacker News

Article Search Words

9/11 Abbasid Abd Al-Bari Atwan Abdullah al-Senussi Abdullah Azzam Abdullah Yusuf Azzam Abraham Abu Mohammed al Maqdisi Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Abu Omar al Baghdadi Adam Gadahn Afghanistan Africa African Union Ahmadinejad Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh Al Jazeera Al Qaeda Al Qaeda Training Al Shabab Al-Quds al-Arabi Alerts Ali ibn Abi Talib Allah Amal Kansi Angel Gabriel Anwar al-Awlaki Arab League Arab Spring Arabia Arabs As-Sahab Media Aurakzai Agency Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Ayman al-Zawahiri Azad Ali Ba'th Barack Obama Bashar Al-Assad Beheading Bhai Joga Singh Gurudwara Bill O'Reilly Bin Laden Documents Blog Bomb Making Bosnia Brazil British Burqa Caliphate Catholicism Caucasus Charter 77 Chechnya China Christianity Christians Christmas Day Bomber CIA Clerics CNN Cold War communism Computer Conspiracy Constitution Counterterrorism Covenant of God Crucifixion Crusaders Cyber War Cyber-Jihad Czechoslovakia Dagesta Damascus Daniel Pipes Dar de Islam Dar de salam Dar el Harb Dar-es-Salaam Delhi Democracy Detonator Dictators Digital Information DNS Drones East Turkistan Islamic Movement Economics Editorial Egypt Embassy England European Union European Union Mashrig Extremism Facebook Fata Region Fatah Fatwa FBI Ferdowsi Film Fitna Fort Hood Shooter Game Theory Gary Durrell General Sir David Richards God Ground Zero Group Behavior Gurdwara Haalat al Fihd Hamas Hamid Ansari Hassan Nasrallah Hate Hellenic Hijackers Hinduism Hizb ut-Tahrir Hizbullah Homeland Security Homer IED Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf Immolation India Indian Airlines Flight 814 Infidel Innocence of Muslims Instagram Intelligence International Energy Agency Internet iPads Iran Iranian Hikers Iraq Iraq-Kuwait War Ishmael ISIL ISIS Islam Islamabad Islamic History Islamic Shakyhsiyah Foundation Islamization Ismail Khan Israel James Corbett James Pavitt Jerrold M. Post Jesus Jihad John Nash Josh Fattal Judaism Kafir Kenya Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Khalifah Conference Khāmene’i Kharijites Khorasan Group Kufa Kuwait Language Libya Literature Lockheed Martin Madrassas Maghreb Major Nidal Hasan Manouchehr Mottaki Martin Dempsey Martyr Martyrdom Maulana Masood Azhar Mecca Medieval Medina Middle East Militants Minister Nawaz Sharif Mohammad Atta Mohammed el-Beltagy Mongol Mu'awiya Muammar al-Gaddafi Muar Farouk Abdulmutallab Muhammad Muhammad Bouazizi Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak Muhammad Morsi Mujahedin Mullah Omar Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar Muslim Muslim Brotherhood Mustafa Akyol Nairobi Najibullah Quraishi Napoleon NATO Nazi North Caucasus nternational Union of Muslim Scholars Nusra Front Oil Omaima Hassan Ahmad Mohammad Hassad Osama bin Laden Ottoman Pakistan Palestine Palestinian Pamela Geller Peace Talks Pentagon Peter Bergen PLO Poem Power Prague Spring Prime Minister John Major Profiling Qur'an Quraysh Raymond Ibrahim Razzia Religions Review Revolutions Richard Reid Rightly Guided Robert S. Mueller III Robert Spencer Rohan Gunaratna Russia Saddam Hussein Saif al-Islam Salafi Salvation Sarah Shourd Satanic Verses Satellite Phones Saudi Arabia secularism Semites Sentinel Separatists Seymour Hersh Shane Bauer Sharia Sharia Law Sheik Abdul Rahman Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohamed Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Shi'a Sikhs Six-Day War SkyGrabber Soviet Union Statehood Subsidies Suicide Bomber Sunni Syria Taliban Tanzania Technology Tehran Terror Cells Terrorism Terrorist Terrorist Website The Global Islamic Media Front The Islamic State Time Magazine Tunisia Turkistan Islamic Party Twelvers Twitter Uighurs Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab Umma United States Uprisings Uthman ibn Affan Václav Havel Velvet Revolution Vice Adm. William McRaven Video Vladimir Putin Wahhabism Warnings Weapons WWII Xinjiang Yadavaran Yemen Zalmai Azmi Zaydi Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Jihad Source Rating Scale

★ Poor
Unreliable

★★ Below Average
Hardly Informative, Factual, or Timely

★★★ Average
Somewhat Informative, Factual, and Timely

★★★★ Good
Informative, Factual, and Timely

★★★★★ Exceptional
Scholarly, Informative, Factual, and Timely

(NR) No Rating
Unable to Determine or a Counter-Intelligence Agency

Known Terrorist Groups

Al-Qaida has cooperated with a number of known terrorist groups worldwide including:

  • Armed Islamic Group
  • Salafist Group for Call and Combat and the Armed Islamic Group
  • Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Egypt)
  • Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya
  • Jamaat Islamiyya
  • The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
  • Bayt al-Imam (Jordan)
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad (Kashmir)
  • Asbat al Ansar
  • Hezbollah (Lebanon)
  • Al-Badar
  • Harakat ul Ansar/Mujahadeen
  • Al-Hadith
  • Harakat ul Jihad
  • Jaish Mohammed - JEM
  • Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
  • Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan
  • Laskar e-Toiba - LET
  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the Philippines)
  • Abu Sayyaf Group (Malaysia, Philippines)
  • Al-Ittihad Al Islamiya - AIAI (Somalia)
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  • Islamic Army of Aden (Yemen)
  • Armed Islamic Group
  • Salafist Group for Call and Combat and the Armed Islamic Group
  • Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Egypt)
  • Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya
  • Jamaat Islamiyya
  • The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
  • Bayt al-Imam (Jordan)
  • Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad (Kashmir)
  • Asbat al Ansar
  • Hezbollah (Lebanon)
  • Al-Badar
  • Harakat ul Ansar/Mujahadeen
  • Al-Hadith
  • Harakat ul Jihad
  • Jaish Mohammed - JEM
  • Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
  • Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan
  • Laskar e-Toiba - LET
  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the Philippines)
  • Abu Sayyaf Group (Malaysia, Philippines)
  • Al-Ittihad Al Islamiya - AIAI (Somalia)
  • Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  • Islamic Army of Aden (Yemen)
  • Jihad and the Internet

    Let’s not fool ourselves. Whatever threat the real Afghanistan poses to U.S. national security, the “Virtual Afghanistan” now poses just as big a threat. The Virtual Afghanistan is the network of hundreds of jihadist Web sites that inspire, train, educate and recruit young Muslims to engage in jihad against America and the West. Whatever surge we do in the real Afghanistan has no chance of being a self-sustaining success, unless there is a parallel surge — by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders — against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan.

    Thomas L. Friedman
    New York Times
    15 Dec 2009

    View the Quran

    Quran Explorer - Interactive Audio Recitations & Translations