Allied reactions to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan were mixed. Great Britain was particularly critical. Her Foreign Secretary Ben Wallace said it was a mistake and the Doha deal was “rotten.” The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, spoke even more harshly, noting that the mentioned decision was dictated by an “imbecile” slogan about the need to end “eternal wars”. Agree: not the most friendly rhetoric from the closest ally.
Moreover, Wallace reported also that he wanted to work with NATO allies to form a coalition to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan, but his attempt was unsuccessful. And it is understandable why: America has dragged its Western partners into the Afghan adventure and now many are glad that it can finally be finished. And Great Britain should be more happy than others, since it had one of the largest military contingents in Afghanistan. However, London for some reason clings to the “eternal war”.
The official explanation for this is that after the withdrawal of the Western coalition forces, Afghanistan will again turn into a hotbed of terrorism. It is obvious, however, that this is hypocrisy. If the UK were strongly concerned about the threat of terrorism, it would have a different position on Syria, which, with the inaction / assistance of the West, almost turned into a hotbed of this very terrorism.
A more intelligible reason for London’s desire to remain in Afghanistan is to prevent Russia and China from gaining a foothold there. It is the British who are the authors of the term “Great Game” in Central Asia. That is, they have a geopolitical tradition of fighting for this region. In addition, recently, the UK, at the initiative of the new head of British MI6 intelligence, Richard Moore, seems to have decided to play a more active role in the international arena. This has already manifested itself in the Caucasus. Therefore, it is logical that London does not want to lose an advantageous foothold for the fight against Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Afghanistan.
However, the feeling does not leave that behind the reluctance of the British to leave there is something more hidden. This is the world drug trade. Let’s start with the fact that under the Taliban * banned in Russia in 2001, their production in the country dropped to minimum levels, and as soon as the Americans and their allies appeared there, it again skyrocketed and began to break records. Much has been written about the involvement of the CIA in the drug trade for its own needs, and from the CIA to MI6, as you know, is one step.
In 2006, an English newspaper Independent wrote that in Afghanistan, on the initiative of President Hamid Karzai, Muhammad Daoud, the governor of Helmand province, where a large British military contingent was stationed, was removed from his post. Dowd was appointed to replace the man accused of drug dealing by the British, and Karzai was pressured by the CIA to fire the British henchman. Hence the conclusion – either the CIA prevented the ally from honestly fighting drug trafficking, or intercepted a large piece of the pie from the British.
In 2010 on the site BBC a message appeared: “The military police are investigating drug smuggling charges against British soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense said it was aware of “unsubstantiated” allegations that military aircraft were used to smuggle drugs from Afghanistan. “… In other words, the ideal scheme is on the face – the transportation of drugs by military aircraft, which no one checks, to military bases around the world. Of course, even if these accusations are justified, it can always be said that individual soldiers are not the whole country.
However, let’s move on. In 2012, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) imposed a fine against the Queen’s Bank (“Cutts Bank”) in the amount of £ 8.75 million for not conducting the correct verification of “public officials” and for not interfering with the laundering of money obtained from criminal activities. And this news appeared less than a week after the participant of the presidential race in France Jacques Cheminad publicly statedthat “part of the Queen of England’s fortune comes from drug trafficking” and this money is laundered in the City of London. However, here we can say that all this is far-fetched. Although, if you read the book “The Committee of 300” Allegedly by former British intelligence officer John Coleman, which details Britain’s historical role in the global drug trade, Sheminad’s claim will not seem unfounded.
However, recently, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said: “I want to assure the whole world that Afghanistan will not become a center for the production of any kind of drugs. We will try to eradicate this evil. In 2001, if you remember, the volume of drug production dropped to zero, but then the Afghan territory was occupied, and drug cultivation resumed, including at the government level. But now we no longer intend to be involved in drug trafficking and drug trafficking. Afghanistan will now become a drug-free country, but we need international support – the world community must help us find an alternative [в развитии сельского хозяйства] – Provide us with alternative cultures and we will put an end to drugs. “…
One can, of course, disbelieve such promises of the Taliban, since the drug trade is an excellent source of income, and the Taliban do not have too many of them now. However, this movement can start a real fight against drugs for the sake of recognition and external assistance from Russia, China and other countries. And there is reason to believe that such a development of events does not suit the British elite: if the CIA still has Latin America with its drug cartels in reserve, then the British crown may lose a large item of income and the associated international influence of London.
Cover photo: REUTERS / HannahMckay
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