As we endure the continuing bombardment of Canada's Back from Steve and his band of amateurs and as they continue to slaver quixotically over some fancifully perceived position on the World Stage, we must also suffer the effects of having sunshine blown up our collective asses. Speaker after speaker from National Defence and Foreign Affairs, both uniformed and civilian, when they provide any information at all on the Afghanistan mission, tell us of the wonderful progress being made - with no supporting metrics.
How great are things really? This great.
The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in Afghanistan next year with an Iraq-style troop surge after becoming frustrated at Nato’s failure to defeat the Taliban.That would be an international demotion in the grand scheme of things and, given that the Harperites' limited view of the World Stage is confined to something of a military performance venue, that would be something of a kick in Stevie's nuts?
Plans are being drawn up to send as many as 15,000 extra troops to Afghanistan with a single US general always in command, as in Iraq, defence sources said.
The Pentagon is also pushing for a permanent “unified command” in the south of the country that would sideline the Dutch and the Canadians.
At present, control of the south is rotated between the British, Dutch and Canadians, the three countries that provide the bulk of the troops.
From October next year, when the UK will take over from the Dutch, command of the south is expected to alternate between the British and the Americans.
What will this do for Harper's quest for a leading position in the parade? You know, the glorious victory parade where the leaders of the masses stand on the stage, feed their narcissistic egos and compare penises. Because it must never be forgotten that despite Harper's quacking on about any number of reasons for being in Afghanistan, his real reason is to find validation for himself among his southern conservative brethren.
Despite the fact that Americans won't willingly serve under any other national command, a good deal of why plans are being made to sideline Canadian leadership may rest with the Canadian leadership itself. If there had truly been progress made in southern Afghanistan while forces were under Canadian command the Pentagon would be insane to eliminate a rotation of Canadian leadership. This plan could easily be read to suggest that Canadian military leadership on the ground was left wanting. It also didn't help matters when General Walter Natynczyk, as the newly minted Chief of Defence Staff, started painting a totally unsupported rosy picture while everyone else was stating clearly that the security situation in Afghanistan was rapidly deteriorating.
Let's not forget one other very salient fact: NATO was lied to by the Bush administration as to the security situation in Afghanistan when it took over military leadership. When ISAF took over command of the Afghanistan theatre NATO had been advised that it was primarily a bolstered peacekeeping operation. The result was too few troops, ill-equipped forces and a belief that the primary role of the occupying forces would be to train the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. The US had advised NATO that al-Qaeda was no longer a threat and the Taliban had been essentially neutralized.
In any case, brace yourself Harper. You're about to get yanked.
Hat tip Buckdog