British Roots for Obama’s Afghanistan Plan?

British Roots for Obama’s Afghanistan Plan?

WASHINGTON -- The new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that the Obama administration unveiled today reflects a policy consensus that has been more than a year in the making. It is only recently, however, that the U.S. government has begun to take the lead in developing and implementing this new strategy.

In the waning days of the Bush administration, U.S. allies -- most notably the British government -- as well as foreign policy wonks at think tanks in Washington and elsewhere began formulating an alternative policy for an Afghanistan war effort that had begun going downhill in the latter half of 2007.

British officials point to a Dec. 12, 2007, speech before parliament by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as the beginning of the British strategic shift. Brown told Parliament that Britain's strategy from then onwards would be "a long-term and comprehensive framework for security, political, social and economic development in support of Afghanistan."

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