London, (IRNA): British cabinet secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, was negotiating how to channel covert military aid towards the 'Islamic resistance' within weeks of the Soviet invasion in December 1979, according to embarrassing secret documents released to the National Archives Thursday. Classified cabinet documents show how swiftly clandestine weapons routes were opened up to aid the mujahideen amid extensive military and diplomatic efforts co-ordinated with western allies to defeat the Russians. 'The Russians are resorting to the big lie by saying that they intervened at the invitation of Afghan authorities,” British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington said shortly after KGB special forces seized control of Kabul. “We should take every opportunity to make them uncomfortable and bring home to them the consequences of their actions,' he said. By mid-January 1980, Armstrong sent a 'secret, personal' note to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on a meeting in Paris between senior US, French, German and British officials, saying that there was “discussion of support for Afghan resistance to the invading Soviet troops' and that he was circulating details separately from the rest of the discussion. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the US national security adviser, recommended providing Afghan fighters in 'forward positions' just inside the Pakistan border with 'surface to air missiles to defend themselves against air attack'. The French proposed channelling military aid via the Iraqis. The aim of the west, they said, should be to keep the Islamic world 'aroused about the Soviet invasion that would be served by encouraging a continuing guerrilla resistance'. Armstrong sent a note to Thatcher, Carrington and 'C' (the head of MI6) arguing the case for military aid to 'encourage and support resistance'. He said the west could “hardly refuse to provide support where it could do so with suitable discretion'. Intervention 'would make more difficult the process of Soviet pacification of Afghanistan and [ensure] that process takes much longer than it would otherwise do,” he said. Without having the benefit of hindsight, he argued that “the existence of a guerrilla movement in Afghanistan would be a focus of Islamic resistance which we should be wanting to continue to stimulate'. The release of the secret documents also reveal the lengths to which the British prime minister went to discourage participation in the 1980 Olympics, including government attempt to prevent sportsmen and sportswomen attending the games. 'It (the invasion) is a political move which needs to be countered by whatever means at our disposal, political or otherwise. If this means that we have to embrace the use of sport for the first time as a political weapon, I feel that the end would justify the means,” former defence secretary Michael Heseltine was quoted saying. The UK government also considered stepping up broadcasts from the free world to the Soviet Union and the Muslim world.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human