| GEO World|
| Britain in Afghanistan for 40 years: next army chief|
| Updated at: 1109 PST, Saturday, August 08, 2009|
LONDON: Britain's involvement in Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the next head of the British Army said on Saturday.
General David Richards, who will become Chief of the General Staff later this month, told local newspaper:
"The Army's role will evolve, but the whole process might take as long as 30 to 40 years."While British troops would only be required in the country in the medium term, there was "absolutely no chance" of NATO pulling out completely and Britain would have to play its role in nation-building, Richards said.
"I believe that the UK will be committed to Afghanistan in some manner development, governance, security sector reform for the next 30 to 40 years," he said. The general said the focus of the NATO-led force should now be on the expansion of the Afghan army and police force.