Obama “wags the dog”.

There is an alarming familiarity about the objectives of this latest offensive. Clearly we are committing the ultimate military folly of repeating an action and expecting a different result. It has long been obvious that we should scale back our ambitions in Afghanistan and begin to bring the boys home. Our troops contemptuously refer to their operations as “mowing the grass” – a phrase they adopted from the Russians. This offensive has been designed for the US media by a President in need of a distraction. It will be the usual set-piece “victory”, after which Western attention will subside and the Taliban will trickle back. In a rare moment of insight, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said last July that “there won’t be a military solution” in Afghanistan. It is time he started to act on his words.


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