David Blackburn

Out by 2014

Out by 2014
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It remains a hope, but Hamid Karzai wants his country to control its own security by 2014. Karzai echoes the MoD’s stance - revealed at the weekend courtesy of a leaked internal communiqué. Surely this is more than coincidence? 2014 would seem to be NATO’s preferred withdrawal date.

At last, the politicians have dispelled some of the indecision which has marred operations recently. With politicians beginning to agree to stay until at least 2014 and having bolstered aid budgets, the military can now concentrate on ‘stabilising’ incendiary parts of the country. Whether it will receive the resources needed to protect reconstruction and secure lasting stability remains to be seen – and I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile, the Taliban lie low and wait for NATO’s inevitable withdrawal; and it’s awfully decent of our leaders to indicate when that might be. War is only worth doing if done properly.

UPDATE: Cameron is describing the 2014 withdrawal as 'realistic', adding to the sense that there is a definite plan.