Political mess causes UK general to resign

Sunday Telegraph:

Gen Mackay, who is believed to have resigned over the Government's handling of the Afghan war, said before he quit that Britain's contribution to the war was being undermined by a "tragic failure of leadership".

In interviews with the British Army Review and the book, Operation Snakebite, before he resigned, the 52-year-old said there was a "growing realisation that what we had taken on was in excess of what we had anticipated".

Mackay also accused the British government and Whitehall of being obsessed by in-fighting, poll ratings and short-term political spin and having an "absence of strategy and focus" that insulted the sacrifice made by soldiers in Helmand.

After touring Whitehall, the general also admitted that he was left with a "sinking feeling" and that there was "no will to win".

MacKay also said that when he made his concerns to a senior member of the Army he was told that Britain would neither quit nor provide the resources to succeed. Instead only one approach was guaranteed: "Constant muddling through."

During the defining operation of his Afghan tour, the recapture of the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala, Mackay was furious to be asked by Downing Street if he could delay the operation and spare potential embarrassment to the prime minister, who was due to visit Afghanistan, if things went wrong. Mackay refused.


I fear this administration may muddle things to the point that our generals will get fed up with them too. Already we are seen delays in the troops request for Afghanistan because Obama does not want to deal with the issue. His dithering is not good for the morale of our troops but will be inspirational to the enemy.


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