Ends and Means – the Great Game is not “Defeating” the Taliban

Underpinning former US President George Bush’ admission of ordering the water boarding of terror suspects, is the assumption that the end justifies the means. Especially when combating terrorism and fighting an asymmetric war, this is dangerous and counterproductive. Despite water boarding one of the suspects 183 times, no useful intelligence was produced – as most professional interrogators would expect. This is a very specialised war, and UK’s new Chief of Defence Staff is right to say we cannot beat the Taliban militarily. British soldiers in Afghanistan know that, and are courageously carrying out operations to bring the Taliban leaders to the negotiating table - a long, drawn-out and painful process.

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