Cameron reminded of Afghan challenges
It is like speeding down a rollercoaster while having to lay the tracks. That is how the British officer in charge of training the Afghan army describes the task he has been set by the politicians.
Today David Cameron visited Kabul's Military Training Centre - the place that holds the key to the withdrawal of British troops from this country. Here they've been set the task of training more than 5,000 Afghans each month to create an army of more than 130,000 men within a year - that's two years quicker than originally planned. That would be hard in any country but here only one in 10 "warrior recruits" can read or write.
The Tory leader says that's just one reason why British troops may not start coming home any time soon. Today he told me it was "pretty unlikely" that British troop numbers would be reduced next year.
The message from the military to their visitor on this two-day tour has been the same at stop after stop - help us counter the pessimism about the war at home and then let us get on with finishing the job. His message to them today was a promise to reward their efforts by doubling the £2,400 bonus they receive when they return home after a six- month tour of duty.
Today I watched Afghan recruits train amid stark reminders of the last time someone thought they could tame this country - burnt-out Soviet tanks and armoured vehicles. In the distance you could see a reminder of Britain's failure here - a fort abandoned after the second Afghan war.
The man who hopes to be leading Britain's war efforts soon leaves here having seen what can be achieved but having been reminded that foreigners rarely leave with their heads held high.