Daily Archives: September 2, 2010

By Daniel Dombey

A ride in a C17 cargo plane from Baghdad to Kabul, consultations with Gen David Petraeus, the commander the US is pinning its hopes on in Afghanistan, and talks with Hamid Karzai the Afghan president who often exasperates his western partners – that’s what made up Robert Gates’ Thursday.

We in the press shared a good part of it. The birds’ eye view from the C17 gave a sense of the inhospitability of Afghanistan, with stunning glimpses of  mountains set in desert wilderness.

At a press session at his headquarters Camp Eggers base we saw Petraeus. He sought refuge in generalities when asked specifics about, for example, his plans for the province of Kandahar. Read more

When the feel-good part of a trip is the visit to Iraq, you know you’re on an interesting journey.

After travelling to Baghdad yesterday to mark the formal end of the US’s military mission in that country, US defence secretary Robert Gates came today to Afghanistan, where Washington hopes to engineer a similar handover. Read more

The British press are currently feasting on two scandals. The first involves the foreign secretary, William Hague; the second involves Andy Coulson, the prime minister’s press secretary.

The Hague scandal is getting far more attention. He is a much more senior figure and the details are much more salacious, since they involve insinuations of a gay relationship with a young campaign aide. But I think the Coulson scandal may end up being more serious – since they involve allegations of connivance in criminal acts by the prime minister’s press secretary. Read more