27 May, 2010 — Eric Walberg
The new coalition in Westminster is parsing all the words about Afghanistan and coming up with a very different interpretation, says Eric Walberg
“We have to reset expectations and timelines. National security is the focus now. We are not a global policeman. We are not in Afghanistan for the sake of the education policy in a broken 13th century country. We are there so the people of Britain and our global interests are not threatened.” — Liam Fox, Defence Secretary
The movement to “get the troops out now!” has found unlikely converts in the form of the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition in Britain. The election campaign suggested nothing new could be expected from any of the parties on Afghanistan, despite the fact that over 70 per cent of Britons want the troops home.
So eyebrows were raised with the news that Afghan President Hamid Karzai was Prime Minister David Cameron’s first visitor at Chequers. They went higher still when Foreign Minister William Hague made his first foreign destination Kabul, where he called for the withdrawal of troops as soon as possible.