#AceUKNews – BRITAIN/LONDON – April 09 – (PTV) – The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been accused of trying to stop publication of its own book on Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, as the contents are too critical.
The book on Britain’s war in Helmand — authored by Dr. Mike Martin who was commissioned to do research by the MoD — was due to be published on Tuesday. However, British officials have blocked the release claiming it breaches the Official Secrets Act.
Following the decision, the author, Mike Martin, said “I have been forced to resign. I was employed as a constructive critic and I strongly believe that the Army needs reform.”
Martin also reportedly criticized the MoD for being more interested in protecting its reputation than learning the lessons.
In response to Martin’s resignation, the defence ministry said in a blog posting that “the Army simply decided that it was inappropriate for a serving officer to publish a book that is so heavily critical of the Army, the MoD and our allies. It respects the decision Dr Martin has taken.”
Meanwhile, the book’s publisher has said it had taken legal advice and would go ahead with publication.
Britain is to pull out troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year. Some 5,200 British forces are presently stationed in Afghanistan.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the foreign troops have not been able to establish security in the Asian country.
Contributions from British Media and News – BBC – Guardian