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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why Canadian soldiers may have problems in Afghanistan 

Dave at the The Galloping Beaver provides a useful summary of recent events in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which may affect the Canadian mission there:
Frustrated at the failure of Pakistan to neutralize or capture al Qaeda and the Taliban in Waziristan, Rumsfeld has resorted to a tactic which has served to do nothing if not antagonize an otherwise benign population. He's bombing them. Never one to use the right number of troops on the ground, Rumsfeld defaults to techno-war and air strikes. Results have been less than spectacular. While few al Qaeda terrorists have been killed, tribesmen, angered by US strikes and Pakistani army disregard for their safety, have started to accept Taliban rule and an alliance with al Qaeda.
NATO troops, including Canadian, British, Dutch, Danes, Estonians and an attached Australian force, in Helmand and Kandahar provinces are now under increased risk of attack. The four Provincial Reconstruction Team bases are on a direct line out of Tora Bora. Instead of being able to expand Afghan government control, which is their role, to areas outside Kabul, they will end up having to defend against the rebuilt forces of both the Taliban and al Qaeda. All thanks to Rumsfeld's interference resulting in a botched initial attack on al Qaeda and a subsequent reliance on a wholly untrustworthy ally in Pakistan.
This doesn't bode well for ultimate success in the Afghanistan campaign, does it? Maybe NATO should just ask the Americans to leave, so that the remaining troops can implement a strategy to win the peace in Afghanistan which will actually be successful.
And this is why I think the Canadian mission in Afghanistan does need frequent reassessment, to ensure that we are not being sabatoged by American bluster and blundering,

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