Sunday, October 01, 2006


First, from the Toronto Star:
The formula for failure, Fraser said, is "our country not supporting the needs of the Afghans who are looking for a future. We need to see this through for as long as Afghans want us here."Fraser told the Star the complexities of the challenge in volatile Kandahar and its neighbouring provinces, where Taliban attacks have surged over the summer, play directly into Canadian anxieties.But what many Canadians don't understand, he said, is that attacks are increasing for the very reason that NATO and the new Afghan government are gaining the upper hand and "the Taliban see their window of opportunity closing."The more success we have, the more they will attack. The further out we get into the hinterland, the more they come and attack us."And we have spread out far more this summer than ever we had in the past. And it's putting more pressure on the Taliban leadership as we go into their backyard. We're in Helmond province and we weren't there last year. We're in Shawali Khot and we weren't last year. We're now all over Zabul, which we weren't last year. And we've spread out in Uruzgon, with 1,000 more troops."(emphasis mine)

Now, from The Independent:
At least two officers have quit as a result of their experiences in Helmand. The only one to be named was Captain Leo Docherty, aide-de-camp to Colonel Charlie Knaggs, the operational commander in the province. Calling the campaign "a textbook case of how to screw up a counter-insurgency", he told The Sunday Times: "We've been grotesquely clumsy - we've said we'll be different to the Americans who were bombing and strafing villages, then behaved exactly like them."

Yet another leaked email from a front-line officer endorsed this, saying: "We are not having an effect on the average Afghan. We are no better than the Taliban in their eyes, as all they can see is us moving into an area, blowing things up and leaving, which is very sad."(emphasis mine)
Shucks, General, so lemme see if I get this: the more you territory you cover, the more fighting takes place. The more fighting, the more Afghanistan gets better and if we don't clap hard enough it will fail. Up is down. Black is white. War is peace. I wonder if The Star was editorialising a wee bit when it listed this correction beside Fraser's comments:
[...] But Carey, 35, like the rest of Charlie Company's newly ascended leadership, doesn't see more troops as the answer. Not more foreign troops, in any event.
"More Canadians? Is that not just like giving candy to the Taliban? I think what we need is more ANA soldiers. At the end of the day it is the Afghans, with lots of backing for reconstruction, who are going to turn this thing. Not the people who point the weapons." clue what we're doing...

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