UK official: Obama's delay hurts our Afghan case

AP News
Posted: Nov 24, 2009 12:14 PM

British defense secretary Bob Ainsworth says the United States' delay in deciding how many reinforcements to send to Afghanistan has harmed his country's ability to rally public support for the war.

Ainsworth told the House of Commons defense committee Tuesday that the "period of hiatus" President Barack Obama had taken on Afghanistan was one of the things that "have mitigated against our ability to show progress" there.

Public skepticism in Britain has hardened as increasing numbers of troops have been killed. Some 235 U.K. troops have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Since mid-September, Obama has held 10 meetings of his Afghanistan strategy review. The White House says Obama will announce his decision within days.