Thursday, 26 November 2009
SPY Boss Talks Afghanistan
During the Peter Nailor Memorial Lecture on defence, Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) gave a terse but incisive assessment of the Afghanistan situation from the UK point of view.
"The British Armed Forces have been under-resourced, as a result of an eight year squeeze on defence spending by the Treasury", he stated.
He also accused the Government of failing to explain adequately to the public why Britain was at war.
"This country's leadership has failed to explain satisfactorily what we are trying to do. Until recently, it has been at best half hearted. The Taliban will up the pressure if they think the West is wavering, to force withdrawl. For a satisfactory negotiated political exit, the military and political positions need to be secure. If this is done from a position of weakness, the consequences and costs to this country are likely to be far greater than those currently being borne by this country."
He went on to differentiate between the Taliban, a militant Pashtun nationalist movement seeking a Pastunistan (which might incorporate parts of Pakistan, and reflects a plan considered by the British before Partition in 1947 but discarded under pressure from Jenna) and Al Qaeda, a nihilistic group with no realistic political aims (radical; uncompromising; unrestrained).
He stated though that "Pakistan is both part of the problem and part of the solution. But some Pakistan military officers still see India as a bigger threat than radical militant Islam."
Apparently a very clear, incisive and thought out speech. He covered the budget which we all know has been never at the forefront of Labour thinking and the contempt the Labour administration shows for our armed services. He covered history, political thinking and strategy.
However he saved his sledge hammer until the end!!!
And I quote
"This is a good moment for the UK to start correcting the deficiencies, and almost all of this can be done at a political level. But the reason for change looks rather more like political damage limitation, than vigorous belief in the policy."
However this morning A Downing Street spokesman said: "We have consistently increased funding for the mission in Afghanistan year by year in recent years.
"The Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers continue to explain and make the case publicly for the mission."
Indeed Labour lies before British lives