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Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

100th UK Afghan death 'increases determination'

The former head of the British army says that Gordon Brown "is beginning to get it" over Afghanistan and believes UK strategy "is all about hearts and minds".

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who is now advising the Conservative party on defence issues, told Today presenter Sarah Montague that he "hugely and warmly" welcomed the increase in the numbers of UK and US troops being deployed to the country, but added that though numbers were important "what they can do is more important".

Sir Richard said that manpower was critical to holding areas which would otherwise come under taliban control. 'This is all about hearts and minds," he said.

But he warned that "the single point of potential failure" is the possibility of losing support for the conflict at home.

The general revealed that the invitation to become a Tory adviser "came out of the blue", adding that despite "mixed dealings" with Gordon Brown "in our last three encounters he was beginning to get it".

Sir Richard also said that the the 100th UK combat death in Afghanistan, which was announced yesterday, "increases our determination as soldiers to see this mission through"

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