KABUL - The United Kingdom has already wasted £14bn on the war in Afghanistan and cannot afford to waste any more in military operations there at a time of financial crisis, Lord Oakeshott has said.
"We have wasted £14bn on going to war in Afghanistan, and we are losing hundreds of lives in a futile war propping up a failed state - already far more than the £8bn spent on going to war in Iraq," British former Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman Lord Oakeshott said.
The UK is now spending about £4bn a year on keeping troops in Afghanistan, he said.
"That's £500 for every taxpayer at a time when the public and household purses are stretched to breaking point." The comments came after he was given the latest figures on the cost of war from a written parliamentary question last month, which showed that the total spending from 2001 to 2010 has been £10bn.
The question said that £4bn had been the cost of British troops only in last year. "Britain would be a far safer and stronger country if we spent this money fighting gang warfare and illiteracy.
The outlook is bleak when a fifth of our young people cannot read, write or add up properly ... virtually unemployable in a 21st-century developed society," he said last week.
There are 10,000 British troops in Afghanistan with the troops set to begin leaving the country this year.
UK has lost 378 soldiers since the troops involved in NATO-led counterinsurgency operation in Afghanistan in 2001. (Tolo News)