I missed today's anti-war demonstration in London, but note how little impact the Stop the War Coalition now has, despite the non-existent public support for our continued presence in Afghanistan.
That probably tells us more about the nature and approach of STWC than anything it tells us about attitudes to Britain's role in ISAF. An insight into just how low Western objectives now are in the Islamic Republic emerges via Peter Markus, late of the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUROPOL-Afg). Check this little gem out:
"Early in 2002, the international community decided to help Afghanistan rebuild its nation. Part of this nation-building project is the restructuring of the Afghan National Police and this is where EUROPOL-Afg comes in. Consisting of around 400 international police experts from 23 EU member states, EUROPOL-Afg is helping to train and remodel the Afghan National Police (ANP), turning it into a fully functioning police force that will be focused on the community and will operate with an acceptable level of corruption".
Nation building. Community policing. Acceptable levels of corruption.
There is no chance of delivering the first two. Anybody who has read a serious analysis of the corruption of the Karzai government will know that the third may be possible - if only because definitions of 'acceptable' levels of corruption are so elastic as to have no real meaning. And we expect British soldiers - and Afghans of all stripes - to carry on dying for this?