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Drawing the line against the Taliban


afghan1Fight them there or fight them here?

Former Foreign Office minister Kim Howells poses the question in the Guardian in a piece made grimly relevant by Wednesday’s shooting dead of  five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman.

Howells says troops should be brought back from Afghanistan and that the billions of pounds saved should be used to beef up homeland security in Britain – drawing the front line against al Qaeda around the UK rather than thousands of miles away in Helmand province.

He accepts that such an approach would result in “more intrusive surveillance in certain communities,” a tacit acknowledgment that Britain’s Muslims would be subject to greater scrutiny by police and intelligence services.

His “Fortress Britain” theory takes into account indications that a growing number of experts feel the war against the Al Qaeda’s supporters the Taliban in Afghanistan is unwinnable.