If we know one thing, we know wars are dreadful, the worst that can happen to mankind. So how can we deal with the awkward fact that, in the great sweep of human history, wars have surprisingly often produced the breakthroughs, in ideas as well as technologies, the rest of us then come to depend on?
Last Thursday, Minister Justine Greening demeaned and insulted the Commons with a saccharine flavoured quarterly report on Afghanistan. It was stuffed the culpable self-deluding optimism that has led to the deaths of hundreds of our soldiers. Justine sweetly looked forward to a happy-ever-after corruption and drugs-free Afghanistan.
The PDSA Dickin Medal contains the words 'We also serve' and these emotional words always remind me that these animals have performed supreme acts of gallantry to protect lives. This latest recipient is Theo, a British Arms and Explosives Search Dog who died just hours after his handler was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.