I don't know exactly why I feel compelled to blog about this again, maybe because of Obama's visit and the message on Afghan I took from his words, or whether it's recent statements that not only display that it is far from decided what role Canada will play after 2011, but also that there is no clear obtainable objective at this time.
Few would put much stock in Harper's claims that the combat mission ends in 2011, Iggnatieff is all over the board with his statements, (big surprise) and Obama has indicated that date is not carved in stone as far as his admin is concerned. Further to that, both Iggster and Obama have made statements in recent weeks, seemingly confirming that there is no discernable mission parameters or objectives that can be clearly explained. I'm trying not to button hole these statements but will leave it to you to interpret what is in the links below. An excerpt;
"How would you like to be sent to a war, the point of which no one knows, including the commander-in-chief who sent you to kill or be killed?"
The first link is one of Charles' from another post, and starts off with economic issues then turns to discuss Afghan about half way through. Among other things, it discusses the US Military estimates of troops requirements to be in the vicinity of 650,000 in order to be effective. A far cry from the 60,000 Obama plans to employ, plus the Nato contingent.
Then there's the Igg. First the flip;
Then the flop;
I had a brief exchange recently with an Iggnatieff supporter and prominent blogger, who wrote about Igg's recent statement on Afghan saying "we are lost right now". The blogger was trying to put this forward as a positive questioning of the situation. I thought it an odd perspective given Igg's supposed level of knowledge in the areas of history and world affairs, so I engaged the blogger briefly. Once I had put forward an overview, some past, some present said blogger exiting stage left with due haste.
All of the news and opining out there right now is making me very uncomfortable. It's as if the entire scenario is being handled by people who don't understand it. People who can't correlate things like the Cambodia factor, the size and diversification of population from which the militants can draw. Their traditions, ignorance and the essence of their culture if that's what one wishes to call it. It's no less a culture than our version I suppose. Then there is the Religion, the Pakistani factor and a not so pleased Bear sitting above all this, watching and meddling whenever opportunities arise. Some payback and some tree scratching as well. For those who don't know, that's one of the things Bears do to mark there territory.
The reality is really quite simple. There will be no victory this way. Overcoming centuries of shifting loyalties, lawlessness by our standards, and Tribal mentality is not going to be accomplished by sitting in the Fort, and sometimes conducting forays into the wilds. They did that in Vietnam during the quiet times, and the North just used these periods to rearm, re-supply, rebuild and recruit.
There are 3 options, in reality. One, maintain the status quo (and that includes Obama's extra 30,000 troops) Two, fold your tents and get out. Three, give the military what they want and go to War.
With the first option, there will be no end in sight. The second is unnaceptable to the U.S. at this time. The third, in my opinion, would have fairly quick results. What those would be exactly, is difficult to assess given the possible variables, and perhaps even more difficult to contemplate.
For sure, everytime some crazy eyed whack job cuts the head off of a foreigner and posts it on youtube, they strengthen the resolve of the foreign occupiers. Besides that, they provide even more fodder for the proponents of the military solution. These are cowardly acts committed in the name of righteousness, and no thinking person is fooled by their rhetoric. Merciless gangsters commit acts like these. As they cry for Holy War, I would suggest they be careful what they wish for, given the state of the world at the moment.
They should also remember how fast their loyal allies can betray them. The Great Warriors so called, of that region fully understand the CYA principle, and their homegrown version of Capitalism too.