Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 10:47:12 AM EST
The Guardian's Security Affairs Editor posted this entry to Comment is Free. An interesting anaysisreview piece on the state of Britain and the USA'a relationship.
Meanwhile, Tony Blair agreed that Britain would take the lead in eradicating the opium harvest in Afghanistan, the origin of 90% of British heroin. In his new book, State of War, James Risen quotes a CIA official as saying: "The British were screaming for us to bomb those targets because most of the heroin in Britain comes from Afghanistan. But they [the US military] refused." He writes: "The Pentagon feared that counter-narcotics operations would force the military to turn on the very warlords who were aiding the United States against the Taliban and that would lead to another round of violent attacks on American troops."
Mr. Norton Taylor is using James Risen's book State of War
Risen refers to a meeting between Rumsfeld and Afghan commanders where the message was clear: help fight the Taliban and the US will leave the traffickers alone. British troops are now preparing for a "nation-building" mission to counter insurgents and narcotics in southern Afghanistan. It could take 20 years, according to a leaked Ministry of Defence briefing paper.
What is Washington doing in return for all Blair's help? Bush has blocked a billion-dollar deal with Rolls-Royce to build engines for the proposed joint strike fighter - which Britain wants for its two new aircraft carriers - despite repeated lobbying from Blair. The US still refuses to share advanced military technology with us. It is refusing to let British agencies question terrorist suspects, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged September 11 mastermind; it won't even say where they are being held.
What is ommitted from this part is the fact that a large amount of technical information was transfered from the UK to the US during the development of the JSA.