Sunday, December 10, 2006

CIA is undermining British war effort, say military chiefs

CIA is undermining British war effort, say military chiefs
Confidential report speaks of 'serious tensions' in the coalition over strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Robert Fox
Published: 10 December 2006

British intelligence officers and military commanders have accused the US of undermining British policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, after the sacking of a key British ally in the Afghan province of Helmand.
British sources have blamed pressure from the CIA for President Hamid Karzai's decision to dismiss Mohammed Daud as governor of Helmand, the southern province where Britain deployed some 4,000 troops this year. Governor Daud was appointed in mid-year to replace a man the British accused of involvement in opium trafficking, but on Thursday Mr Karzai summoned him to Kabul and sacked him, along with his deputy.
"The Americans knew Daud was a main British ally," one official told The Independent on Sunday, "yet they deliberately undermined him and told Karzai to sack him." The official said the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, was "tearing his hair out".