Monday, December 16, 2013

Mission accomplished in Afghanistan?

David Cameron announced today that our mission in Afghanistan has been accomplished.

But was he right? Come to that, what was our mission there?

I found the answer in an old House Points column of mine from Liberal Democrat News. In March 2006 I wrote:
Now British troops are off to Afghanistan again. At Monday’s defence questions John Reid confirmed there are currently around 1600 there, and this will increase to around 5700. 
Why are they going? Reid described their task as establishing democracy, ending terrorism, achieving security in the south of Afghanistan, helping the Afghan economy and dealing with poppy destruction. He did not say what they are doing after lunch.
A little research tells me that I was writing about defence questions on 27 February 2006.

The list of tasks was not a direct quote from John Reid, then the secretary of state, but were put into his mouth by James Gray.

I am not sure I would want anything of Mr Gray's put into my mouth, but Reid did not demur from them.

So, no, our mission in Afghanistan has not been achieved, but that is no reflection on our forces or David Camerson - even if he was stupid to use George W. Bush's glib phrase.

No, it is a reflection on the absurd ideas the last Labour government had when it sent troops there.

1 comment:

James said...

A senseless waste of life and blood, both soldiers and civilians...