I've only just seen this but The Sunday Times had an in depth story by the exceptionally fine journalist Christina Lamb on Afghanistan. It includes revelations about the recent shooting of five British soldiers that made my blood run cold;
The 25-year-old, an unmarried man called Gulbuddin, was part of a 15-strong team that manned a police station in the Nad Ali district, in the heart of Helmand’s poppy-farming lands.
Embedded with the Afghan police were two trainers from the Royal Military Police and a protection force of 14 soldiers from Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards.
The Taliban subsequently claimed Gulbuddin as one of theirs. Senior sources say local intelligence shows the claim is false, however. In addition, witnesses contacted by The Sunday Times say other factors lay behind the massacre.
According to two Afghans who knew him, Gulbuddin had complained of being brutally beaten, sodomised and sexually abused by a senior Afghan officer. A policeman named Ajmal, a friend of the gunman, said Gulbuddin had been constantly tortured. “He was being used for sexual purposes,” said Ajmal.
Another policeman, Kharullah, who was injured in the shooting, said: “Gulbuddin was beaten many times and that’s why he got angry. One day when he was patrolling with British soldiers, he swore he was going to kill him.”
When Gulbuddin opened fire with a machinegun, his target was his alleged abuser. According to the Afghan sources, the five British soldiers were killed simply because they were present and considered to be the man’s protectors.
The allied task to prop up this corrupt regime is not simply one where we are making the best out of a bad situation but one where we are actively protecting rapists, ballot-riggers and reactionaries.Far from being killed by the Taliban it appears that these British servicemen were in fact killed by a police officer that we'd severely let down in the most horrendous way. I've no doubt that they did not deserve to be killed, just as Gulbuddin did not deserve to be raped and beaten by a superior officer protected by a ring of British bayonets.
Speaking on Question Time last week Sir Ian Blair had said the problem was that the police officers were being recruited "off the streets" (i.e. they come from Afghanistan) when in fact the main problem is that the regime the police serve is itself corrupt to the very top.