President Karzai should start his war on corruption by investigating his own family's new riches and links to the drug trade. This is unlikely. Gordon Brown is pulling on rubber levers. Nothing will change. Corruption has been the lubricant of Afghan political and business life for centuries. This is another mission impossible that will be as successful as the hope in 2006 that not a bullet would be fired in our Helmand mission.
Some 230 British lives have been sacrificed in Afghanistan to the vanity and cowardice of politicians who will not admit their mistakes. All plots against UK targets were hatched in Britain or in Pakistan; none in Afghanistan or by the Taliban. The Taliban are killing our soldiers as they see it as their sacred duty to expel alien forces from their country, as they have done for centuries. Gordon Brown again avoids the truth by conflating the Taliban with al-Qai'da and Afghanistan with Pakistan. Truth is avoided by locating plots in "the region" or "the Afghanistan/ Pakistan border".
British strategy now relies on the corrupt, depraved and murderous Afghan police. One in four of these mercenaries deserts each year, many to the Taliban. A corruption-free Afghanistan is unattainable: the Karzai clan has pilfered $20bn of international aid. The election-rigging President depends on warlord allies who have committed hideous atrocities.
Ministers are spinning the endgame to avoid blame. While other countries have stuck to the policing of Afghanistan, we have been shouldering an unequal military burden. Canada and the Netherlands have announced exit dates for their troops. We must do the same. Who will be the last British soldier to die for politicians' blunders?
Paul Flynn's blog can be found at paulflynnmp.co.ukReuse content