LONDON (AFP/Reuters) - The head of Britains armed forces said Sunday that Al-Qaeda can never be completely beaten, but argued that outright victory is unnecessary as long as governments are able to contain the militants. First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat it (militancy) in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved, Chief of the Defence Staff General David Richards told the Sunday Telegraph. But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our childrens lives are led securely? I think we can. His comments were published on Remembrance Sunday, when Britain pays tribute to its war dead, such as those killed in Afghanistan, where troops have been deployed since 2001 to disrupt Al-Qaeda militants there. Richards said the real weapon in the war against the terror group led by Osama bin Laden was education and democracy. The Chief of the Defence Staff underlined Britains aim to end its combat role in Afghanistan by 2014-15 but did not estimate how much longer after that coalition troops would need to support Afghan security forces. His comments are the latest from Western military leaders and politicians who have been paving the way for coalition forces to exit Afghanistan over the coming years, even though the Taliban remains a significant threat to security there. US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hope to start bringing troops home next year. The general, who became head of Britains armed forces last month, said the region should be stabilised before any withdrawal is completed. We are equally clear that we have got to support the operation thereafter to make sure that our legacy is an enduring one, he said. British soldiers have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001 as part of a U.S.-led force.