Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A clearer debate on Afghanistan?

The debate about Afghanistan is actually beginning to settle down a bit in the sense that what we are really talking about is becoming clearer.

In the near term, it comes down to: more helicopters asap; more troops (of whatever nationality); more supplies of certain specific equipment to for example gather intelligence on Taliban movements.

Longer term, it is focusing on our strategy there as part of the NATO force; defining it more closely; recognising why we are there.

We still need to accept that there are difficult choices to be made - ie the security case may mean defence spending will have to be higher in future than we have assumed it will be, which means cuts elsewhere.

John Hutton, former Secretary of State for Defence, writes a balanced piece (which firmly states that we need to prioritise getting the necessary equipment to our forces in Afghanistan) in today's Sunday Telegraph.

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