For those that might otherwise complain about the parliament in Westminster being marginalised, prime minister Gordon Brown did at least reserve the official confirmation of what had been widely forecast – an increase in force levels in Afghanistan – for an official statement in the House.
For some time now, I have set myself a general objective of running a continuous narrative on the Afghan mission and thus, in pursuit of this self-appointed task, I have summarised the statement over on Defence of the Realm. This is the first of several posts on what could be a landmark event – which could either set us on the road to success or failure.
As always, there is a lot more to the statement than meets the eye, not least the background to the "conditionality" related to the troop uplift. This, and more, we'll try to analyse in the later posts.