British Government Up To Its Old Tricks ?

#1
A British diplomat was expelled for having talks with the Taliban ? Shades of General Richards and Musa Qala.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/26/wafg126.x

Agents from MI6 entered secret talks with Taliban leaders despite Gordon Brown's pledge that Britain would not negotiate with terrorists, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Officers from the Secret Intelligence Service staged discussions, known as "jirgas", with senior insurgents on several occasions over the summer.
An intelligence source said: "The SIS officers were understood to have sought peace directly with the Taliban with them coming across as some sort of armed militia. The British would also provide 'mentoring' for the Taliban."
http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-12-25-voa11.cfm?rss=politics

Afghanistan on Tuesday ordered a top European Union official and a United Nations employee to leave the country for allegedly threatening national security.
Government spokesman Humayun Hamidzada said authorities had detained the pair -- one British, the other Irish -- along with their Afghan colleagues who are being investigated.
The spokesman said the two, based in southern Helmand province, were involved in activities outside their mandate. He said they have been declared persona non grata and have been given 48 hours to leave.
The two men are accused of having meetings with different tribes and groups, including possibly the Taliban.
 
#2
Or just a bunch of totally misguided fuckwits.
 
#4
tomahawk6 said:
Quite possibly,but it does seem to undermine the troops in the field.
I tend to agree with you on this point,and I reckon that they should face charges when they land back home.
 
#6
But aren't the British just doing their usual thing: divide and rule? Which means talks must take place with elements of the Taliban in order to split them. And once you start talking you can't help but negotiate, i.e. "You give me this in exchange for that"? And politicians always lie about negotiating with “terrorists,” putting up some ridiculous smokescreen about ‘talking’ not ‘negotiating’ (a bit like Clinton not having “sex” with “that woman”). Sorry, but what's the problem here? Does anyone claim there's going to be an outright military victory? LOL Just pass them a GCSE history book on Western (and Russian) military involvement in Afghanistan.
 
#7
Probably on the orders of Broon so he can downsize his war costs for the year after next. Don't think such hi ranking 'diplomats' would 'engage' with the enemy without the knowledge of central Govt.

They did it in Iraq and glossed it over as something it wasn't they will do it here.

Good points our people get to come home earlier to a safer environment.

Bad points our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world will take a battering as it looks as we are chased out again..
 
#8
tomahawk6 said:
Quite possibly,but it does seem to undermine the troops in the field.
Having read as much as I can find on the subject, I'd say that a large number of fighters aren't really Taleban supporters, more paid employees. Given another source of cash, ie wages from the Government to fight the Taleban, they'd be quite happy to take the Government's money, fight the hard core Taleban fighters, who are frequently not Afghan in orgin, and gain British Forces support and redevolpment aid!

If it saves us bombing every single village and fighting for every compound in Helmand Province then I see no problem with trying to wean tribal groups away from the Taleban.
 
#9
Kitmarlowe said:
tomahawk6 said:
Quite possibly,but it does seem to undermine the troops in the field.
Having read as much as I can find on the subject, I'd say that a large number of fighters aren't really Taleban supporters, more paid employees. Given another source of cash, ie wages from the Government to fight the Taleban, they'd be quite happy to take the Government's money, fight the hard core Taleban fighters, who are frequently not Afghan in orgin, and gain British Forces support and redevolpment aid!

If it saves us bombing every single village and fighting for every compound in Helmand Province then I see no problem with trying to wean tribal groups away from the Taleban.
This is an insightful posting by Kitmarlowe. It not only recognises that the Taliban is a description for what is a relatively weakly-linked federation of diverse interests, but also uses this fact as a means for removing some elements from Taliban influence and turning the stronger groups into fighting the Taliban's serious fighters.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
 
#10
Ex-Grenadier said:
Kitmarlowe said:
tomahawk6 said:
Quite possibly,but it does seem to undermine the troops in the field.
Having read as much as I can find on the subject, I'd say that a large number of fighters aren't really Taleban supporters, more paid employees. Given another source of cash, ie wages from the Government to fight the Taleban, they'd be quite happy to take the Government's money, fight the hard core Taleban fighters, who are frequently not Afghan in orgin, and gain British Forces support and redevolpment aid!

If it saves us bombing every single village and fighting for every compound in Helmand Province then I see no problem with trying to wean tribal groups away from the Taleban.
This is an insightful posting by Kitmarlowe. It not only recognises that the Taliban is a description for what is a relatively weakly-linked federation of diverse interests, but also uses this fact as a means for removing some elements from Taliban influence and turning the stronger groups into fighting the Taliban's serious fighters.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank You. I'm almost blushing here.
 
#11
It turns out that it was two senior UN employees that were kicked out of the country, one of them British.

Edited to add - Apparently they were acting outside their remit and may have endangered Afghan Forces. There is also rumour that one of them may have been turned.
 
#12
I really think negotiating with the Taleban (or certain elements of them) is the only chance of beating them. They seem to have endless amounts of new fighters from Pakistan. It's only a matter of time before eventually people in the West just get tired of hearing about soldiers dying in Afghanistan and demand a pull out.

We need to do something similar to the "awakening" in Iraq and pay off some of the Taleban or tribes to fight for us.
 
#13
Sven said:
It turns out that it was two senior UN employees that were kicked out of the country, one of them British.
I suspect this is an entirely separate incident Sven. MI6 agents held a number of discussions, known as "jirgas", with members of the hardline Islamist group, according to a Daily Telegraph report.

If true, the revelation could embarrass Prime Minister Gordon Brown, coming just weeks after he told MPs:
"We will not enter into negotiations with these people."
Mind you, this was also about the time he said he wouldn't call a General Election because Labour would win!

But it could, as Kitmarlowe alludes, be interpreted as building on the stated Government aim of splitting the Taliban and backing efforts by President Hamid Karzai to offer a legitimate place in Afghan society to insurgents willing to renounce violence.

The Telegraph claims around half a dozen meetings took place between MI6 agents and Taliban leaders during the summer. It quotes an unnamed intelligence source as saying:
"The Secret Intelligence Service officers were understood to have sought peace directly with the Taliban, with them coming across as some sort of armed militia. The British would also provide 'mentoring' for the Taliban."
It is suggested up to six such meetings took place at houses on the outskirts of Lashkah Gah and in villages in the Upper Gereshk valley, to the north east of Helmand's main town.

Shadow defence secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
"If this turns out to be untrue, the Prime Minister will have some explaining to do to the British public."
Responding to the Daily Telegraph's allegations, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said:
"We do not comment on intelligence matters."
Except of course, when lying about intelligence to justify going into Iraq.
 
#14
Ex-Grenadier,

That makes perfect sense, there's never going to be enough troops to really secure Lashkah Gah and the Upper Gereshk valley. So, peel the local tribal groups away from the Taleban, and therby help the ANA/ANP keep the peace, improving security and allowing local re-development to start.

That actually makes sense. must have cloned a Political Officer from the Hindu Kush in the 1920's!
 
#15
Ex-Grenadier said:
Sven said:
It turns out that it was two senior UN employees that were kicked out of the country, one of them British.
I suspect this is an entirely separate incident Sven. MI6 agents held a number of discussions, known as "jirgas", with members of the hardline Islamist group, according to a Daily Telegraph report.

If true, the revelation could embarrass Prime Minister Gordon Brown, coming just weeks after he told MPs:
"We will not enter into negotiations with these people."
Mind you, this was also about the time he said he wouldn't call a General Election because Labour would win!

But it could, as Kitmarlowe alludes, be interpreted as building on the stated Government aim of splitting the Taliban and backing efforts by President Hamid Karzai to offer a legitimate place in Afghan society to insurgents willing to renounce violence.

The Telegraph claims around half a dozen meetings took place between MI6 agents and Taliban leaders during the summer. It quotes an unnamed intelligence source as saying:
"The Secret Intelligence Service officers were understood to have sought peace directly with the Taliban, with them coming across as some sort of armed militia. The British would also provide 'mentoring' for the Taliban."
It is suggested up to six such meetings took place at houses on the outskirts of Lashkah Gah and in villages in the Upper Gereshk valley, to the north east of Helmand's main town.

Shadow defence secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
"If this turns out to be untrue, the Prime Minister will have some explaining to do to the British public."
Responding to the Daily Telegraph's allegations, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said:
"We do not comment on intelligence matters."
Except of course, when lying about intelligence to justify going into Iraq.
Same incident. Unless two different sets of diplomats, one set EU and the other UN - both with one of the diplomats being British - have been asked to leave by Karzai.

My information is by way of News24, which has just had a UN spokesman saying that they were acting without remit and were senior UN personalities. Also, the report floated the rumour that one had been turned.
 
#16
Much more to this than meets the eye. Remember, the term 'Taliban' covers a multitude of religous fanatics, assorted badmashes, criminals and drugistas.

So, Instead of a meeting in Kabul, with much shouty sweary ranty and told do it again, and you're PNG , they're kicked straight out,smear rumour started etc etc.

How very odd, almost as if someone in the Afghan Government wants something kept quiet.
 
#17
Although The Frontier opponents of the British varied widely.... the principal 'hostiles' were the hillmen of the North-West Frontier, often styled Pathans. This name did not describe a race or nation but apparently was derived from the Afghan name for the language Pushtu (or Pukhtu) applied to tribes of Afghan origin resident in the mountainous country along the Punjab frontier. (Its pronunciation was generally 'P'than', but in British army argot 'Paythan' was common). The Pathans were divided into tribes, the tribes into clans and the clans into sections, so that nomenclature was often complicated and confusing, often involving the term Zai (e.g. Orakzai), meaning 'son of' and khel, meaning company or association. Clans might be styled by their own name or with this name as a qualification of a wider association; for example, the Darwesh Khel might be referred to by that name, or as Waziris (their tribal origin), or as 'Darwesh Khel Waziris', or by the name of a sub-clan such as Madda Khel or Kabul Khel.
From The Colonial Wars Source Book (Well worth getting - has origins and relationships of all the major frontier peoples.)

Divide and rule would make sense amongst such fractured relationships.
 
#18
The real problem I think is that Brown denied just two weeks ago that the Government was talking to the taliban. So caught in a lie Brown looks foolish at best and in the worst case looks to be unreliable as an ally.
 
#19
As PTP mentions above, there is FAR more to this than meets the eye.

I don't think this has been posted yet...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7160090.stm

One is a high-ranking UN employee, Briton Mervyn Patterson, the other is acting head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, Irishman Michael Semple.

The expulsion order follows claims that the men had held talks with the Taleban in Helmand province in the south.
[snip]
The men were in Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan, in the town of Musa Qala, recently reclaimed from the Taleban by British and Afghan troops.

The interior ministry knew they were going, but other layers of the Afghan government objected to the type of people they were meeting, our correspondent says.
Whatever they were up to, it does not suggest that HMG is persuing a particulary cohesive plan, does it? :x
 
#20
whitecity said:
As PTP mentions above, there is FAR more to this than meets the eye.

I don't think this has been posted yet...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7160090.stm

One is a high-ranking UN employee, Briton Mervyn Patterson, the other is acting head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, Irishman Michael Semple.

The expulsion order follows claims that the men had held talks with the Taleban in Helmand province in the south.
[snip]
The men were in Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan, in the town of Musa Qala, recently reclaimed from the Taleban by British and Afghan troops.

The interior ministry knew they were going, but other layers of the Afghan government objected to the type of people they were meeting, our correspondent says.
Whatever they were up to, it does not suggest that HMG is persuing a particulary cohesive plan, does it? :x
Especially as neither are government officers :x
 

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