Britain is being accused of going easy on the Taliban in Afghanistan,
in order to get more cooperation from Pakistan's intelligence service (the
ISI). Britain has a large (over a million people) Pakistani population in
Britain, and has admitted that some 1,600 suspected terrorists are being
monitored, along with dozens of potential plots to launch attacks inside
Britain. So far, most of this activity has been traced back to Islamic
radicals, and terrorist training facilities, in Pakistan. Britain denies that
its troops are making deals with the Taliban in Afghanistan, as part of a deal
with ISI. However, such an arrangement would have to be kept secret. That said,
the British tactics (trying to negotiate peace deals with tribal chiefs in
southern Afghanistan), are not unique, and are right out of the British playbook.
American Special Forces troops have been using similar negotiations for years.
However, the current British deals are thought to allow the Taliban to move
freely into areas where the British are supposed to be keeping the bad guys
out. That is still in dispute, and the outcome of these arrangements won't
really be known until the next Taliban "Spring Offensive."
may never be known if any such deals with ISI were made, but the fact that the
British were accused, indicates that this sort of thing is recognized as real,
although difficult to pin down. Then again, the mass media is always looking
for catchy headlines...