It's a cold night in Helmand, an area of Afghanistan that borders Pakistan and is notorious for terrorist activities. There is a calm in the air, which the hidden British soldiers know is temporary. Any minute now a suicide bomber could appear from behind a rock, lighting up the dark sky as he shouts "Allah Akbar" and blows himself up. However, the men of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards receive a most unexpected surprise when a red and white striped Gran Torino drives crazily towards them, swerving at the last minute to avoid a precarious 200 foot drop.
Two American soldiers emerge from the vehicle in jeans, one sporting a 70s Afro hairdo, the other an ageing blond cowboy look.
"Yo, mudderfucka", hisses a voice from behind the trail of dust, and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who has been polishing shoes for passers by, stands up. "Word on the street is that de Talban plan to hit an Army convoy right here tomorrow at six. Ya didn't hear it from me, right?"
"Sure, Huggy", replies the cowboy.
Minutes later, the place is deserted again and the still only broken by the noise of British soldiers spluttering to get the sand kicked up from the Amercian's reckless driving out of their lungs.
But in fact, this isn't such an unusual event. Colonel John Smith told us that "Pakistan is an important ally in the war against terror, acting as an informer and passing on vital information about the criminal activities of the Taliban and its allies. Of course, most of those activities are only made possible by help given by Islamabad in the shape of weapons, training camps and even personnel. But we cannot underestimate the role of the Pakistanis."
Well, that clears it up.