Edited to add. I haven't voted myself and I believe that Soviet invasion into Afghanistan was stupid, senseless, unfair and of course absolutely unjust.Richards admits that his biggest disappointment has been the lack of progress in Helmand, where 5,000 British troops continue to be engaged in heavy fighting. He long ago stopped talking of the âink spotsâ, or areas of development, that he once planned enthusiastically.
According to the recently ousted governor of Helmand, Engineer Mohammad Daoud: âSince the British arrived the province has seen far more destruction than reconstruction.â
Many locals see British forces as threatening their livelihood.
Norine MacDonald, of the Senlis Council, a European think tank, has spent the past two weeks interviewing villagers in Helmand while handing out blankets and food aid, and is convinced that Nato has lost the battle for hearts and minds.
âIf youâre a 26-year-old man and you see your house destroyed or your daughter killed, youâd turn against the British,â she said. âItâs not about global jihad.â