(Cameron and Obama - meanwhile, back in the UK . . . .)
Seems there is an air of confusion everywhere as to just what our Afghanistan withdrawal policy is going to be. As Prime Minister David Cameron was meeting with Pres. Obama two weeks ago, back home Deputy Minister Nick Clegg was hemming and hawing with Parliament as to just what was supposed to happen.
Nick Clegg: “No timetable can be chiseled in stone, but we are absolutely determined, given how long we’ve been in Afghanistan, given that we are six months into an eighteen month military strategy embarking on a new political strategy that we must be out, in a combat role, by 2015.”
And after some howls he backtracked a few minutes later and it came out like this:
Nick Clegg: “First, lest there’s any confusion on the vital issue of Afghanistan, which I hope well continue to enjoy cross-party support, let me be absolutely clear that we will see our troops withdrawn from Afghanistan from a combat role by 2015, that is what we are determined to see happen.”
As this episode from the BBC Radio program Politics UK from July 23rd points out, the relationship is a long and sometimes confused one, certainly not helped by a muddled policy towards Afghanistan laid out by the Bush Administration.
It is a very tangled web. One with no easy solutions.
Newstalgia Note: We've put Newstalgia World Week on hiatus for a bit, at least until the new site debuts. In the interim, I will be putting these overseas news pieces, hopefully on a daily basis and see how that goes.