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Is Britain paying too high a price in Afghanistan?


The death toll among British troops in Afghanistan is rising fast.  The soldier who died on Tuesday was the seventh to die in the last week and the 176th since the war began.

Last Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe became the highest ranking British soldier to die in the conflict in Afghanistan when he was killed in Helmand. British commanders are quoted as saying things are going to get worse before they get better.

Not surprisingly, doubts are being raised about the price being paid in Afghanistan, about the nature of the mission itself and whether security can ever be made effective enough to rebuild the country after 30 years of war.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth concedes there is gloom about the rising death toll but rejects comparisons with the Vietnam war that lasted over 15 years and says there is a “real sense of momentum” in Afghanistan.