Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY

Gates draws curtain on Afghanistan


Hugh White

7 March 2011 08:32

A minor point on US Defense Secretary Robert Gates' recent West Point speech (a more thorough treatment of that speech to follow): talking about the need to break up the concrete of the Army’s promotion process, Gates started a sentence with this subordinate clause: 

After the major Afghan troop deployments end in 2014...

Just as bald as that. No 'if', 'but' or 'maybe'. No reluctance to set a date, no talk of 'conditions–based' rather then 'time-based' schedules. As far as Gates is concerned, America's major military effort in Afghanistan will end three years from now, no matter what. 

Why doesn't the Australian Government simply use the same formulation' Surely not because we expect to stay after the US goes' Someone might ask Gillard while she's in Washington.

Image by Flickr user The Rocketeer.