GROUNDHOG DAY

Afghanistan an 'Unfolding Disaster'

Spurred by an opinion piece from former Foreign Office minister Kim Howells, the Guardian has published an editorial calling the war in Afghanistan "a political failure" with unclear goals and little chance of success. The center-left paper commends Howells, whose essay calls for the majority of British troops in Afghanistan to return to the UK border protection and intelligence gathering, for "saying publicly" what others are thinking in his sharp criticisms of an "unwinnable" and "unworkable" war, and writes that even though it does not agree with everything he says, Afghanistan is an "unfolding disaster." The "tarnished" Hamid Karzai, the editorial board writes, is President Obama's last hope to "deliver the central plank of his fight" and end corruption, but with the Afghan president's choices of vice-presidents—including a "notorious warlord”—expecting change is a fool's game: "It will be like groundhog day—all over again."