Nato has "lost in Afghanistan" and its failure to bring stability there could provoke a regional sectarian war "on a grand scale", according to Lord Ashdown.New York Times:
The former United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered his dire prediction after being proposed as a new "super envoy" role in Afghanistan.
Lord Ashdown said: "We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely."
Foreign fighters are coming from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, various Arab countries and perhaps also Turkey and western China, Afghan and American officials say.
Their growing numbers point to the worsening problem of lawlessness in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which they use as a base to train alongside militants from Al Qaeda who have carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Europe, according to Western diplomats.
“We’ve seen an unprecedented level of reports of foreign-fighter involvement,” said Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, deputy commander for security of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. “They’ll threaten people if they don’t provide meals and support.”
In interviews in southern and eastern Afghanistan, local officials and village elders also reported having seen more foreigners fighting alongside the Taliban than in any year since the American-led invasion in 2001.