The Guardian is running extracts from Jonathan Powell's latest book, which has some interesting insights into the politicians view about the use of force: Jonathan Powell: general's outburst endangered British forces in Iraq | UK news | The Guardian Disregarding the stuff about CGS (it's all be done before), it's interesting that Powell believes the increase in public awareness of the Armed Forces will lead to us being deployed less and less: "The sort of surprise attack that Dannatt launched will make political leaders think twice if military action is proposed in future, certainly if the military engagement is likely to be sustained over a year or more. Our armed forces will no longer be deployed so regularly and will lose their cutting edge. We will gradually become more like Germany and other continental countries, unable to put our armed forces in harm's way. That is a choice, but one we should make consciously and not just stumble into it. It would be another step towards losing the ability to control our destiny as a country, a far more important one than sharing our sovereignty in Nato or the EU. Already we have lost the capacity to fight major operations by ourselves. We could no longer muster a taskforce like the one Britain sent to the Falklands." This is coming from a man who survived front-line politics for ten years, so like, or dis-like his Political views, his political understanding should not be under-estimated. Perhaps we have made a rod for our own backs, and will subsequently look back to Iq and Afg as the highpoint from which we will gradually decline. Thoughts? Comments?