Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Quite what Andy McNab would have made of the fiasco in eastern Libya is anyone’s guess, and, given the reluctance of our Special Forces to disclose any information at all, we are unlikely to hear very much more.

What is astonishing is how very 19th century it all seems.

A Chinook (if it was a Chinook – it may just be that that is the stock image the BBC uses when a large helicopter is involved) is not a gun boat, but the idea of sending an armed diplomatic party to parlay with the natives (without telling them first) is so very Empire.

And a “serious misunderstanding” (William Hague in the House of Commons) a perfect example of diplomatic language.