I was pleased to learn this morning that there is now a final deadline to get our remaining troops out of Iraq. They have done a great job in difficult circumstances, made worse by political disagreement about the desirability and nature of the mission and by the lack of certain vital items of equipment.
The return of those troops just highlights the issue about how much longer troops are going to remain in Afghanistan, and why there isn’t a clearer political strategy for resolving the conflicts of that faction torn country. The arrival of President Obama clearly does not make for the change we want in that direction, as he like Gordon Brown seems committed to digging us in more deeply rather than finding the least inelegant way of exit.
Meanwhile the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe leaves open the moral issue of why do we invade certain Middle Eastern countries when we do not like their governemnts, to impose democracy, but do nothing elsewhere however gross the misconduct? Would it have been any different were Zimbabwe a large oil producer?