Posted by: Tony Carson | 3 October, 2007

A Tony Blair for Afghanistan?

Afghanistan has always been the forgotten war, if it can be called a war at all. Ever since the US decided its real fight was a few countries to the south-west Afghanistan actually seems more like a deadly stalemate.

Increasingly, that stalemate has become intolerable to the Nato countries fighting in the country. Clearly, at this rate it is a no-win situation. What to do?

Canada requests special UN envoy for Afghanistan makes a lot of sense, someone “along the lines of former British prime minister Tony Blair’s mission in the Middle East” — although how much have we heard from him lately.  Condoleezza Rice’s peace initiative, due to take place within the next two months, already seems dead in the water.

But the request for the special envoy, if nothing else, is a useful gauge to test how seriously the UN is taking the theatre and could the envoy prove useful at recruiting other countries to get involved, especially Muslim countries which so far have taken a pass.

If the UN declines the request, the message will be as clear as the current lack of Nato commitment to the war: the theatre is not important enough. Fine. Those doing the fighting, like Canada, should immediately get out — and wait til it has to go back in again.

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