A British Commons committee has found that UK soldiers "were sent into [Afghanistan's] Helmand province on an ill-defined mission undermined by "unrealistic" planning and lack of manpower." From The Observer:
After eight years in Afghanistan, the west has failed to live up to many of its grander promises, while "mission creep" has imposed too many competing priorities on the armed forces, according to the Labour-chaired Commons foreign affairs select committee.
Meanwhile, it raises the alarming spectre of al-Qaida, which has shifted its focus into Pakistan, gaining access to Islamabad's nuclear arsenal.
The report concludes that, while the military campaign in Helmand may be gaining traction, Afghan support for the troops has been damaged by civilian casualties and "cultural insensitivity", while there is no evidence the war on drugs has reduced poppy cultivation. A weak, corrupt police force is driving Afghans back to the Taliban to seek justice, it argues, while cultural assumptions about women are barely changed.
The British report is telling, particularly compared to the drivel John Manley & Co. pumped out for SHarper a year back.