BLAIR AIDES DENOUNCE U.S. 'BLUNDERING' IN AFGHAN WAR
Sat Jun 29 2002
Senior officials in British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office have launched an astonishing attack on America's handling of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda fugitives.
But Downing Street late Saturday played down reports that Number 10 officials have attacked the United States' anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan.
Blair's senior aides accused US troops of "blundering" about during house-to-house searches for Islamic fighters, according to the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH.
"The Americans think they and the Pakistanis can just march in shooting," one told the paper.
Americans did not understand the "sensitivities" involved in such tribal areas, where Britain has experience of operating, they said.
"Using force will just backfire and increase sympathy for al Qaida," the source added.
But a Downing Street spokesman said: "Any suggestion of any split between us and the US in the fight against terrorism is completely wrong.
"The whole campaign in Afghanistan has been characterised by us standing together. That is not going to change."