The Taliban can be admired for their conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty to one another, the new bishop for the Armed Forces has claimed.
The Rt Rev Stephen Venner called for a more sympathetic approach to the Islamic fundamentalists that recognises their humanity.
The Church of England’s Bishop to the Forces warned that it will be harder to reach a peaceful solution to the war if the Afghan insurgents are portrayed too negatively.
His comments came as the Prime Minister visited Afghanistan and warned that the Taliban was fighting a "guerrilla war" aimed at causing "maximum damage". Gordon Brown said soldiers were discovering improvised explosive devices every two hours.
Mr Brown stayed overnight in the Allied base in the southern city of Kandahar, the first British Prime Minister to spend the night in a war zone since Winston Churchill. His visit came days after the death of Lance Corporal Adam Drane, the 100th member of the British forces to die in Afghanistan this year. His death brought the total number of British service personnel who have died since the start of operations in 2001 to 237.
Bishop Venner stressed his admiration for the sacrifices made by the British forces fighting in Afghanistan but also urged the need for a reassessment of how the Taliban are viewed.