Bob Ainsworth not backing troops in Afghanistan is disgrace

Bob Ainsworth: not backing troops in Afghanistan is 'disgraceful'

Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, has insisted that the war in Afghanistan can be won despite the terrible toll being taken by British soldiers in the country.

By Sean Rayment, Defence correspondent
Published: 9:00PM BST 11 Jul 2009
The call came at 4am. Even before he answered, Bob Ainsworth knew he was about to receive more bad news from the front-line in Helmand.
The defence secretary's worst fears were confirmed when the voice on the end of the line said: "Secretary of State, I have some bad news. Earlier today we lost six men in an attack in Helmand."

Those deaths and the loss of another two soldiers in Southern Afghanistan brought the number of troops killed in southern Afghanistan to 184, four more than those who died in Iraq.
It has been a tough time for Mr Ainsworth, who until a month ago was a junior member of the cabinet and, outside his constituency, just another relatively unknown Labour MP.
Since the 1st of July he has been told on several occasions that yet another British soldier has fallen while fighting in, what much of the public now believes to be an intractable war with no end in sight.
But despite the recent "terrible" losses, Mr Ainsworth, remains convinced that the war in Afghanistan can be won.
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