David Blackburn

    The chaos of military deadlines

    The chaos of military deadlines
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    The leaked communiqué, obtained by the Independent on Sunday, stating that British troops will not be fighting in Afghanistan by 2014 has further confused the Afghan war at a time when clarity is necessary.  There are now two deadlines, or aspirations of a withdrawal at any rate. Liam Fox is polluting the airwaves with specious waffle about 2015 being a ‘conservative assessment’, but of course the troops will probably be home earlier, but then again they might not, but then again we don’t really know. Well, Dr Fox, if that’s the case it's best to say nothing.

    Amid this disorder, Andrew Mitchell has announced that aid to Afghanistan will be increased by 40 percent. But if NATO lacks the troops to protect the aid operation and occupy territory, which it does, then many of the new bridges, roads, schools and hospitals will be destroyed, as they were during the last concerted reconstruction effort in 2005-06.


    Few wars can have been as badly run as this one; it’s a farce, plain and simple. And all the while, the enemy grows stronger. Al Qaeda and the Taliban can retire to their holes, safe in the knowledge that the West lacks the political strength to fight. They have the time and only they can win. Why delay the inevitable until 2015 or 2014? Why not go now?