Realism required in Afghanistan

During my school years, the pink colour of the British Empire covering one third of the mandatory wall map of the world was already starting to fade.

At that time a cliché much in vogue was that Britain punched beyond its military weight and as a child I found this unlikely idea strangely comforting.

All too soon the Suez debacle proved conclusively that no nation punches above its weight for long whatever its history, political personalities and rhetoric.

My heart sank in 1999 when I heard Tony Blair’s delusional Chicago speech flagging up his interventionist foreign policy and the disastrous military adventures to come.

William Hague retains the gritty common sense of his Yorkshire roots and hopefully this will be reflected in a more realistic view of our place in the scheme of things.

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