I have reluctantly held the view for a while that, in it's current form. our mission in Afghanistan is suffering from "mission drift," with the direct consequence that British soldiers are dying needlessly.
Given David Cameron's vow to withdraw by 2015, (and how was that date arbitrarily arrived at?), the enemy can see light at the end and have no incentive to surrender arms; indeed, quite the opposite is true. I'm not going to go over old ground in questioning Westminsters inability to articulate clearly what the mission is and how it's going to be achieved, but I do want to highlight the disquieting facts about the US deployment as described in Bob Woodwards new book, "Obama's Wars."
In it, Woodward describes a faction ridden White House and a President firmly of the conviction that an exit strategy was what he wanted from the outset of his term, refusing pleas from the Pentagon to massively build up it's presence. In fact, an exit plan was never forthcoming so he wrote his own.
If the US then, starts drawing down as planned next year there's not a cat in hells chance of us hanging around for another four years.
Whilst recent tactical success against the Taliban in Helmund, and reports that Taliban funding appears to be tightening, as a result of the troop surge is welcome, it is more likely that the enemy will simply melt away and reappear at a time and place of their choosing. Without massive numerical superiority, the support of the local population and superior intelligence the odds will always be against our success.
Enough of the "nation building," rhetoric then. The British have to start becoming a whole lot more selfish and focus on our own national interests. We should short circuit this and go right to the end scene of the movie, we know what it's going to be after all.
One things for sure, I didn't much like Obama before but I'm beginning to have a sneaking respect for him for standing up to the military complex and being.... well, presidential. Check the links, worth a read.