It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Labour’s much-praised defence review of 1998 never contemplated an Iraq and an Afghanistan simultaneously. In military language it envisaged one “relatively short war – fighting deployment” and one “enduring non-war-fighting operation”. Instead we have had two long hot wars, one of which, Afghanistan, has every sign of “enduring” for a long time to come. Iraq may to all intents and purposes be over, but as the death toll inexorably rises Afghanistan makes the assumptions of 1998 invalid.