Another French soldier was killed in Afghanistan today, bringing the toll to 6 in days. Coming immediately after Sarkozy's visit to Afghanistan and at the moment of France's national holiday, these losses send a message that is the opposite of the president's. Sarkozy insisted that one "must know how to end a war," that the time to end it had come, but that France would exit on its own timetable, with dignity, and only when "the mission is accomplished." But the message that the insurgents have tried to send over the past few days is that the mission is never accomplished in this kind of war.
Meanwhile, political attention has shifted to Libya, where progress is more tangible. The National Assembly voted a couple of days ago to grant its formal approval to the effort, with the Socialists on board. France has already spent €150 million on the effort.