Most Western officials have been making claims of ill-defined progress in the Afghan War as a way to convince their voters that, after nearly a decade, it is something short of an absolute travesty that NATO is still trying to occupy the nation. British Prime Minister David Cameron took a different approach.
Cameron, who arrived on a surprise trip in Afghanistan, insisted that the war is going so swimmingly that he’s hoping the British troops can leave Afghanistan next year. He had previously talked about withdrawing before 2015.
But despite having run in the last British election on a decidedly hawkish platform toward Afghanistan and vowing to escalate the conflict every chance he got, the prime minister seems to be succumbing to the reality of Britain’s financial struggles, and ending the expensive occupation of Afghanistan would go a long way toward helping the military deal with its dwindling budget.
The same claims of progress in the war have been made by US officials in recent days, but for a decidedly different reason, as they are being presented as proof that the current strategy, which resulted in yet another record death toll in 2010, doesn’t need to be changed and the war can continue exactly as it has.