Gen. David Richards, the new chief of Britain's armed forces, told The BBC Sunday that victory in the strictest sense of the word was unnecessary, and beyond that, not possible.
The BBC reported Richards said that a clear-cut victory over the militants is not an achievable goal. This line of reasoning would have been billed as extremely pessimistic just a few years ago, but the events that have transpired in the embattled middle east since then have led to a moderation of thought.
This hardly means that he proposes that the group be left to their own devices unchecked. He rather realizes that the extremism that leads an individual to violence is an offshoot of a milder form of thought. "I don't think you can probably defeat an idea," Richards told the BBC. "It's something we need to battle back against as necessary, but in its milder forms why shouldn't they be allowed to have that sort of philosophy underpinning their lives?"
CNN reported, however, that Richards says that he truly thinks Britain's sacrifice thus far in the conflict to be worthwhile, and that they are meeting with some success. He stated that the Afghan people do not wish for the return of the Taliban, and that as a part of the removal of the regime Britain has a responsibility to ensure that the country has a government to replace it.