Politics needed to end war - Afghan general
Political and economic solutions are needed alongside military might to help end the fighting in Afghanistan, the country's minister of defense said, reported CNN.
An Afghan woman looks out from the back of a vehicle in Herat, Afghanistan, on Sunday.
Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak said the idea that Afghanistan has to find political solutions to end the fighting has long been endorsed by President Hamid Karzai.
"For a total solution we must work on different fronts -- political, economic and military," Wardak said Sunday at a news conference. "Economically, we must improve the lives of the people, help find them work. Politically, we need to reach a middle ground and have everyone accept the Afghan constitution."
Wardak's comments echo those from a senior British commander who was quoted Sunday as saying that decisive military victory is impossible and that the Taliban may well be part of a long-term solution to the fighting.
The Sunday Times newspaper quoted British Brig. Mark Carleton-Smith as saying that "we're not going to win this war."
"It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army," he was quoted as saying. "We may well leave with there still being a low but steady ebb of rural insurgency."
"If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this," Carleton-Smith was quoted as saying.
Karzai and other Western leaders have long expressed interest in having Taliban fighters lay down their arms and accept the government and its constitution. But Western leaders in particular say that reconciling with hardcore militants, like Taliban leader Mullah Omar or members of al Qaeda, will be difficult.