The Helmand expedition arises from Blair's obsession with global machismo and his addiction to abstract nouns. If I were its designated leader, General David Richards, I would not disobey orders but I would ask to see Reid before leaving. I would grab him by his lapels, ram his head against the ministry wall and scream in his face: "Tell me what the hell you really mean by sending my soldiers to that godawful place?" If the reply is yet more waffle about upholding democracy and combating terror, I would storm out with such a door slam as could be heard the length of Britain.
When will Western politicians realise that narco-crops are totally corrupting of good government, as also evidenced by Colombia? The only way to stop the ongoing disasters in these countries is for Western states to give up their futile "war on drugs" (which is financing the enemies in the "war" on terror) and instead regulate their legal sale.