Mr Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban.
A “period of hiatus” in Washington - and a lack of clear direction - had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said.
Senior British Government sources have become increasingly frustrated with Mr Obama’s “dithering” on Afghanistan, the Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this month, with several former British defence chiefs echoing the concerns.
But Mr Ainsworth is the first Government minister to express in public what amounts to personal criticism of the US president’s leadership over the conflict which has so far cost 235 British lives. (continues here at Telegraph UK)