Been fossicking around looking at ways other countries try to regularise committing their armed forces to warfare. Something better that just some Blair-type thinking it would be a good idea and forcing it through with lies and deceit. Have been looking at the Weinberger Doctrine. For those who do not 'do' links it is: The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved. U.S. troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed. U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives. The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary. U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a "reasonable assurance" of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress. The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort. Whilst there is still room for weasel wording to answer these conditions, it seems a good foundation. Colin Powell added to it with his additional criteria 1 Is a vital national security interest threatened? 2 Do we have a clear attainable objective? 3 Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? 4 Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? 5 Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? 6 Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? 7 Is the action supported by the American people? 8 Do we have genuine broad international support? With regard to Afghanistan, we seem to have ignored pretty well all of these considerations.(1,3,4,5, 6 and 7) I can think of other recent wars where these would have been good things to ask before we rushed into action. I realise we are not American but what benefits - if any - would be obtained if we drew up our own formal conditions for sending troops to battle? What other questions would have to be ticked up?