Morning everybody, Long time lurker, first time poster. I have been considering joining up as an army officer for quite a while now. I've figured that this year I've got the AOSB gauntlet to run (plus graduation) and so hopefully a Sandhurst entry of September 2010 or January 2011. Then a year at RMAS and a few months on PCBC or whatever YO course so it would realistically be the summer of 2012 before I join up with a regiment and be in a position to command. However, the increased negativity and pessimism surrounding Afghanistan has got me thinking about what the situation will be by the time I hypothetically commission, i.e. will the army still be active there? I appreciate that this may sound naive and gung ho, but I doubt many people join up, particularly those in the combat arms, without deep down wanting to see action. If nothing else I'm worried that I would be like the class of 1919 and I would have a career marked by a credibility gap as I would be surrounded by experienced officers and have to command experienced soldiers. This is not necessarily the deciding factor in whether I join up as I appreciate there are still plenty of other reasons to join the army, but I do want to feel that I would be getting a fulfilling and active career. I've based this on the reasoning that Afghanistan is an expeditionary war and one of choice so its continuation is dependent on the political will to stick with it. I remember Iraq being a theatre where an extremely long engagement was once predicted, but saw a relatively quick withdrawal once it was no longer deemed worthwhile. Furthermore if use of the military is seen as an ineffective policy instrument I wonder if the government will become so risk averse as to make the chances of another deployment unlikely.