What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

One day later: Reality updates my Uruzgan Series

An MStFB "sudden update", to the MStFB Uruzgan Series
I thought I'd just go to sleep after a long day today, but I couldn't resist the temptation to look around for news on Uruzgan.
And this is what happened this week, according to an article from tomorrow (from Australia, hehe...): Australia's defence minister Brendan Nelson warned Dutch MPs in Kabul that a Dutch pull-out would leave Australian troops with an untenable situation in which they would have to pull out, too (The Australian, August 31). No Dutch Apaches, no Aussies, that's the apparent message. And more than that, as Nelson also said: "We are not in a position to increase our numbers in Afghanistan and we won't and can't take the lead position in Tarin Kowt." (Highlighting by me - P.M.)
I really hope no decision-maker bumps into this blog, because I don't want to commit one of the ultimate methodological errors in not taking into account the possibility of my own actions' effect on reality bringing about an 'altered outcome', one that is different than what normally would be the outcome. But while I can definitely imagine that in 2008 Australia sees the situation premature for taking over the lead in Uruzgan, 2009 may be different, at least so I would risk imagining. The way my imagination works has to do with Eurocopter Tigers and Reapers, but the pace of my imagination may be too fast for 2009. Well, is it? At least we're definitely kept guessing, not just me, but those Dutch MPs, too, of course.
However, those MPs couldn't really be guessing at all on the basis of what's been said about 2008, about its being too early for the Australians. As far as that's concerned, this seems like some serious warning before the October decision. What I would add to this is that while I can imagine Australia taking the lead in 2009 or 2010, all the indications are that they would still need to be accompanied by others, even then. By Dutch troops, by Norwegian troops, by Apaches or even Leopards, you name it, whatever is sufficient.


Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I'm sure, Defence Minister Nelson confirmed a few days earlier that Australia will retain the small battle group in southern Iraq until June 2008 (at least). They won't be doing much in Afghanistan until those forces are available.

Péter MARTON said...

We'll have to watch what Petraeus has to say...