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The Big News NOT in the U.S. News

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One might wonder why neither the U.S. corporate media (nor BBC) saw a report that Britain had plans to sponsor a Taliban training camp. A plan, that apparently had the backing of both the UN and U.S. (with a hint that the U.S. pushed the plan), and resulted in the expulsion of two high-ranking British diplomats by Karzai.

Perhaps the U.S. push to arm and train "insurgent" Taliban as "defense" units should be no surprise as that is what is being done in Iraq. While this has brought consternation and rebuke by the Iraqi government, it has brought no change of operations by the U.S. This may speak to the relatively stronger position of the government of Afghanistan since it could at least eject diplomats.

Below is an excerpt of the article. The remainder can be read at the Independent/UK, or here

Revealed: British plan to build training camp for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Jerome Starkey. Independent/UK. 2/04/2008.

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.

...

It has also soured relations between Kabul and Washington, where State Department officials were instrumental in pushing Lord Ashdown for the UN role.

...

Afghan government officials insist it was bankrolled by the British. UK diplomats, the UN, Western officials and senior Afghan officials have all confirmed the outline of the plan, which they agree is entirely British-led, but all refused to talk about it on the record. President Karzai's office claimed it was "a matter of national security".


The Afghan government is concerned that a force not loyal to the central government was being established and supported. Given the history of U.S. and British intervention in Afghanistan and the region, they may have good reason for their concern.

 

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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.


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