Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Jaap De Hoop Sheffer
Jaap De Hoop Sheffer is the current Secretary General of Nato.
Last night he was a guest at a dinner at Chatham House.
Post the meal he stood up and gave a rather straight to the point speech.
In his final speech before stepping down, he spoke on the UK deaths in Afghanistan and the ongoing debate about the lack of equipment, and his frustration at the EU's relationship with NATO.
He made the speech as a steep rise in casualties has sparked debate in Britain over the value of the Afghan war.
His speech transcript is below and I quote from it.
De Hoop Sheffer said Afghanistan would fall to the Taliban if NATO walked away.
"Al-Qaida would have a free run again, and their terrorist ambitions are global," he said at a speech at London's Chatham House think-tank . "This is not conjecture. This is fact. Those who argue otherwise - who say we can defend against terrorism from home - are simply burying their heads in the sand."
He also said NATO must move away from Cold War security policies.
"As much as we may long for the near-perfect security of Cold War deterrence, we must accept that security today requires engagement in far away places - engagement that is dangerous, expensive, open ended and with no guarantee of success," he said.
All of this on the day the MOD said another British soldier has been killed by an explosion in Helmand Province.
The death brings the total number of British servicemen killed in Afghanistan to 186.
IMHO his speech was aimed very much at the British media and the many of the dissenting voices being aimed at the government for our continued involvement in the Afghanistan conflict.
I do not share all his opinions. I do not believe the UK will become a terrorist hotbed if we leave Afghanistan. I think we will save a lot of lives, a lot of money and perhaps we may stop as we have no more ammunition to give the young radicalised Islamic peoples. We may actually stop the rise further of extreme thinking here in the UK as we have no involvement.
Our military in Afghanistan will not stop that rising of hatered here, in fact it enflames it.
Correct policing and border control will stop any terrosist actions!!!
Mr Sheffers speech I feel has a hint of Gordon Brown attached to it. A hint of using it to get the message to the masses. Sorry Gordy.........does not wash.
His speech transcript