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Adaptability and Partnership: Issues for the…

Adaptability and Partnership: Issues for the Strategic Defence Review…

by Ministry of Defence

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"... a bit geeky this one. This is an MOD green paper pre-empting the white paper and it’s a very clear and concise document about the politics of war. We are a trading nation and we will go to war to keep our trading routes clear. Alan Greenspan said we went to war in Iraq for the oil, and he was right. The fuel is coming on line now (the army is getting a deal for something like five pence a litre) and, though Basra is never going to be a day out in Margate, things have calmed down because people are making money. It’s about the freedom of goods, services and information and to secure our food and resources. That’s the way we do it. We don’t send in the gunships any more, but we go into joint operations with America because they have the same doctrine as us. We are in Afghanistan because we need stability in the region – there is the Caspian Sea up north and the oil pipeline heading west into Turkey. And the Pakistani soldiers facing India, of course. That’s why the US refer to it as the AfPak situation, not just Afghanistan. Karachi is now virtually under sharia law and the influence of the Taliban is a real problem. Russia and China are worried – that’s why Russia went into Afghanistan. To stabilise the borders. People say that nobody has ever won in Afghanistan but no one, including the Brits, has ever been there with the purpose of taking the country.

The McChrystal doctrine is really starting to work –training up a credible army and police force. It’s working better with the army. But [General] McChrystal has gripped it. Brilliant. The political situation is still a problem though – with a weak and corrupt government who are football mad and have said they’d rather watch Chelsea than deal with the problems. President Karzai is known as the Mayor of Kabul – he’s weak. And the drugs trade is still going strong, you can buy heroin for $200 a kilo in the countryside, double in Kabul. It needs sorting out. Two years ago they had the best crop they’ve ever had, but if you took it away they’d all join the Taliban. They fight for money. It’s about money..." (reviewed by Andy McNab in FiveBooks).

The full interview is available here: http://fivebooks.com/interviews/andy-mcnab-on-anti-terror-politics-war ( )
  FiveBooks | May 27, 2010 |
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