Witless Realpolitik Alert: the British once again demonstrate their utter incomprehension of and disregard of the jihad ideology. Sure, the Taliban will accept their training — and continue to pursue jihad.
“Revealed: British plan to build training camp for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan,” by Jerome Starkey in the Independent (thanks to Blue):
Britain planned to build a Taliban training camp for 2,000 fighters in southern Afghanistan, as part of a top-secret deal to make them swap sides, intelligence sources in Kabul have revealed. The plans were discovered on a memory stick seized by Afghan secret police in December.
The Afghan government claims they prove British agents were talking to the Taliban without permission from the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, despite Gordon Brown’s pledge that Britain will not negotiate. The Prime Minister told Parliament on 12 December: “Our objective is to defeat the insurgency by isolating and eliminating their leaders. We will not enter into any negotiations with these people.”
The British insist President Karzai’s office knew what was going on. But Mr Karzai has expelled two top diplomats amid accusations they were part of a plot to buy-off the insurgents.
The row was the first in a series of spectacular diplomatic spats which has seen Anglo-Afghan relations sink to a new low. Since December, President Karzai has blocked the appointment of Paddy Ashdown to the top UN job in Kabul and he has blamed British troops for losing control of Helmand.
It has also soured relations between Kabul and Washington, where State Department officials were instrumental in pushing Lord Ashdown for the UN role.
President Karzai’s political mentor, Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, endorsed a death sentence for blasphemy on the student journalist Sayed Pervez Kambaksh last week, and two British contractors have been arrested in Kabul on, it is claimed, trumped up weapons charges. The developments are seen as a deliberate defiance of the British.
An Afghan government source said the training camp was part of a British plan to use bands of reconciled Taliban, called Community Defence Volunteers, to fight the remaining insurgents. “The camp would provide military training for 1,800 ordinary Taliban fighters and 200 low-level commanders,” he said.
The computer memory stick at the centre of the row was impounded by officers from Afghanistan’s KGB-trained National Directorate of Security after they moved against a party of international diplomats who were visiting Helmand.
Read it all.