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Thursday, 10 November 2011

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As long as the Balkans were carved up between the Austrians and the Turks, they didn't give too much trouble. Would it be too much to ask for a restoration of the status quo ante?

Very droll, 'H', but I don't think either of them are quite up to the job these days!

"all Balkan problems are intractable and that outsiders should remain..outside"

If only some wise man had taken the same approach to Afghanistan.

The situation there would be exactly the same now, but we would not have sacrificed hundreds of brave young men (and a few brave young women) for nothing except Tony Blair's ego.

I can understand, and sympathise with, Blair's desire to cuddle up to the USA whilst simultaneously recognising that such a policy is debatable. For myself, provisionally (until the history books are written), I blame the generals for trying to take on too much and for their failure to face down the politicians. Also, as an ex-soldier I salute the fallen and wounded and recognise that governments should not risk their lives lightly, nevertheless, if you take the Queen's shilling you should know what you are likely to be in for, indeed, that is precisely why they took it in the first place - well I did, anyway, but happily (in retrospect), I never had to fire a shot in anger.

The wearying aspect of this kind of thing is that it was all bloody obvious in advance. I don't blame people if they get some intrinsically difficult decision wrong, as revealed by hindsight, but I hate it when a gorblimey, stone cold, certainly bad decision is made. Hang Blair!

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