Anyone with any genuine experience of this counter-insurgency business understands that it is hellishly difficult and that mistakes, cock-ups and friction are a permanent feature.
"The issue is whether or not our politicians, diplomats, intelligence services, civil servants and senior military have done enough, adapted enough, been innovative enough or courageous enough to make tough, and more often than not, unpalatable choices.
"My answer to that question is that they have not or have failed to do so too often.
"Muddling through seems to be the default setting, along with the protection of individual and collective interests."
"The genesis of this approach is born of complacency, the thought that 'we can deal with it as and when it happens'.
"It resulted, I believe, in the upper echelons of government going into Helmand with their eyes shut and their fingers crossed.
"For those who fought and died or suffered injuries in that period, this proved a very costly means of conducting counter-insurgency."