Our Prime Minister has developed a taste for global grandstanding recently. David Cameron postponed his long-awaited address on the European Union last month to jump on a plane to Algeria, a geographical stone's throw from the ruins of his last African foray in Libya, and announced support for France's reckless intervention in Mali.
Britain's "commitment" in Mali is rapidly turning into Operation Creep. Labour's shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy notes that it has "rapidly grown from lending the French two transport aircraft to the deployment of perhaps hundreds of troops to the region."
They will be there, Cameron assures us, on a "training mission."
In what should have been a reality check for him former Labour cabinet minister Frank Dobson pointed out that the US catastrophe in Vietnam started with "a deployment of troops in a training capacity."
Cameron then popped in on the remains of Libya, entering Tripoli in a 16-vehicle armed and armoured motorcade. There he addressed a police training college and assured them - in English - that "in building a new Libya you will have no greater friend than the United Kingdom. We will stand with you every step of the way."
That should send a chill down their spines.
Cameron's decision to fly to the Maghreb, wrote James Forsyth in the Spectator, was "a Blair-style statement that Britain intends to stay involved. Indeed, Cameron's references to a 'generational struggle' make him sound remarkably similar to Tony Blair (below) after September 11 2001."
The PM told the World Economic Forum in Davos shortly afterwards: "I believe we are in the midst of a long struggle against murderous terrorists and a poisonous ideology that supports them.
"We've successfully put pressure on al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so al-Qaida franchises have been growing for years in Yemen, in Somalia and across parts of Africa," he said.
His predecessor, Middle East "peace envoy" Blair, cheered him on from the television studios.
It now transpires that Cameron relies on Blair - who ought to be in the dock of the International Criminal Court for his Iraq lies - as some sort of mentor from whom, it is reported, he has been taking personal advice.
He is said to be "very admiring of Blair, whom he regards as a nice person and has conviction."
Chancellor George Osborne is also reported as referring to Blair as "the master."
With judgement like that you might feel this pair would be dangerous in charge of a broom, let alone a country.
Iraq's ruins, its widows, its orphans, its millions of dead and displaced are testimony to Blair's "conviction" and "niceness" in this the 10th year since the invasion of that country.
Last Monday Cameron hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, leaders of those countries where we have "successfully put pressure on al-Qaida," at a dinner at the Prime Minister's country residence Chequers.
It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall as the canapes did the rounds - even if the accident-prone Cameron managed to keep horse and pork out of the halal meal.
Ahead of the much-touted mini-summit Karzai had given lengthy interviews with the Guardian and ITN which weren't exactly glowing when it came to the foreign occupation of his country.
"In 2002 through to 2006 Afghanistan had a lot better security," he said.
"When we had our own presence there, with very few foreign troops, schools were open in Helmand and life was more secure."
He appreciated the "sacrifices" and "contributions" of the British military but asked that "our allies in the West recognise the immense sacrifices of the Afghan people in the last 10 years, the immense loss of life and the suffering."
The president acknowledged corruption within the Afghan government - in fact a litany of allegations have been levelled at his own family - but added that it in comparison with "the corruption coming through the international donor contracts and the way the money was spent" it was "really insignificant." He gave examples.
It "pained" Karzai when Afghan troops launched attacks on the occupying armies which are formally their allies as "a serious breach of hospitality." But there needed to be "a lot more cultural sensitivity by our allies when they send troops to Afghanistan."
Given the night raids, the wholesale destruction of lives, livelihoods and homes, the terrorism of the drone attacks, he could have said a lot worse - especially since he and his colleagues survived a US "friendly fire" missile attack in 2001, sustaining serious injuries - in his case damage to facial nerves which is still sometimes noticeable.
What's his view on progress for Afghanistan?
"The main risk is continuation of foreign interference," he said. "The exit of foreign forces will not bring more violence, but a serious, strong reduction in violence will occur."
Karzai went so far as to say that the Western armies had never found the "terrorists" they sought in Afghanistan and that since they had never been able to weaken the Taliban anyway they might as well leave.
It should be noted on that that Karzai had been a supporter of the Taliban regime in the 1990s and was even asked by them to be their ambassador to the UN, though he refused.
In his interviews there were certainly some enlightening lines.
US and British "progress" in Afghanistan, their "conquest of hearts and minds," seems to lie buried in that graveyard of empires.
The US is still committed to an "enduring presence" in that country - because of the minerals, one imagines - and Karzai is taking a conciliatory line for now.
But perhaps Cameron should reflect on the pitiful record of this nearly 12-year conflict, so lucidly put by the West's own allied government, before he fans the flames of war in Africa.
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