Skip to comments.Britain 'Out Of Step With NATO Allies' (Afghan)
Posted on 01/05/2007 6:37:47 PM PST by blam
Britain 'out of step with Nato allies'
By Ahmed Rashid in Islamabad
Last Updated: 1:58am GMT 06/01/2007
British policy in Afghanistan is seriously damaging Western efforts against the Taliban, diplomats from allied countries have warned.
British troops in Musa Qala in the southern Afghan province of Helmand
Officials from the United States and European members of Nato have told The Daily Telegraph that Britain is increasingly at odds with its coalition partners over its policy of making arbitrary peace deals with the Taliban, while at the same time declining to put pressure on Pakistan to stop providing sanctuary to the Taliban leadership.
Diplomats in Kabul and Islamabad say Britain's "go it alone policies" are threatening military preparations for a major Taliban offensive expected next month.
Western officials have strongly criticised a peace deal in Musa Qala, Helmand, where thousands of British fought daily battles with a resurgent Taliban.
British commanders say the deal was struck with tribal elders, but it has been claimed that the agreement was actually made with the Taliban, who controlled the town. British officers deny the claim.
The truce is now reported to be breaking down with large numbers of heavily-armed Taliban returning to Musa Qala.
Britain wants more such deals, but the US and some Nato allies have rejected the idea.
Lt Gen David Richards, the British commander of the 32,000-strong Nato force, will be replaced this year by Lt Gen Dan MacNeil, an American who is expected to cancel all such agreements, officials said.
"We're going to have to fight those people [Taliban]. I don't see any opportunity or need to negotiate," said Richard Boucher, the US assistant secretary of state, recently.
Europe's other contention is the relationship with Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president.
Nato is trying to forge a common front to put pressure on Mr Musharraf to end the sanctuary that elements within Pakistan's intelligence services provide to the Taliban.
The issue is of critical importance in the next few weeks as the Taliban are expected to recruit thousands of men and collect armaments and other supplies for their spring offensive.
But Britain has resisted such pressure. Tony Blair lavished praise on the president when he visited Islamabad in November.
The reason, say diplomats, is the co-operation between MI6 and Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) agency on Britain's domestic terrorist threat from British-born extremists of Pakistani origin.
"Even though British troops in Helmand are facing attacks from Pakistan-based Taliban, London is willing to sacrifice that issue in exchange for getting ISI help on its home-based terrorist problems," said a senior European official.
Why fight them?
They can be killed without a stand up, face to face fight.
We know where the Taliban are, we know the villages they live in or get support from --- destroy them.
Why not use our strength? We're NEVER going to "convert" the brainwashed 7th century assholes, so why play "nice nice"?
Lay 'em out like cordwood and be done with it.
The change in NATO command from British to American was announced a few months back when it became obvious that the Brit general in charge was running a PR campaign, not a war.
I just don't see the will on the part of western nations to accept that this is a war and the enemy, especially this type of enemy, needs to be destroyed post haste.
We just don't have the stomach for what needs to be done and are willing to fall back on ridiculous methods such as this by the Brits or even our own PC ROE. This is a disservice to our troops to conduct a war in this way.
Take an example from history such as in WWII in the Pacific Theater. The Japanese troops on those islands had to be utterly wiped out and that's what was done.
I pray we realize what is at stake in this and act accordingly and do what needs to be done.
Wait until a nuclear explosion happens on Western Soil. Sure, France and few others would surrender.
But I'll think the Brits will keep on with the good fight.