Monday, April 16, 2007

Langley, Isn't It Time to Exit Afghanistan?

"In a week when Canada lost eight soldiers and cautiously began discussing an exit strategy with its allies, it's become clear the mission in Afghanistan, as currently constructed, is not winnable." Toronto Star April 14.

Other great quotes from the above linked Star article;

  • 'Canada's current fighting role in Afghanistan cannot be sustained.'
  • 'First, we are losing. This is not a popular thing to say. Nor is it a reflection on the skill and bravery of Canadian and other allied troops. But it is a hard fact that has to be faced.'
  • 'The Taliban don't have to beat NATO to win. All they have to do is stay in the game, which is what they are doing.'
  • 'Support at home is limited and dwindling.'
  • 'But in this war, there is little evidence of progress.'
  • 'NATO military efforts are serving only to further alienate the people we are supposed to be helping.'
  • it "will take generations to win" – said Task Force Afghanistan's deputy commander Col. Mike Cessford this week.
  • ' many more Canadians will have to die'
  • 'The war on terror could never work and is not working.'
  • 'The gravest mistake made by U.S. President George W. Bush and his allies was to define the response to these terror attacks in purely military terms.'
  • 'History also demonstrates that war, once unleashed by countries seeking to battle terrorism, can have perverse and unpredictable consequences.'
  • 'Bush's ill-fated Iraq war may provide the clearest example of how a military action, ostensibly designed to curb terror, can end up creating more terrorists.'
  • 'In the end, backfire is also the story of Afghanistan. It was the first target of the war on terror. It was also the first place where that war went wrong.'
  • '..some five years later, bin Laden is still at large, while the Taliban control large swaths of both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, London and Madrid have been hit by terror attacks.'
  • 'The war didn't eliminate Al Qaeda. It did throw Afghanistan back into full-blown civil strife, reinvigorate the narco-economy and make the West, rather than Russia, a focus of tribal hatred in the country's south.'
  • 'the Taliban is less interested in negotiation. After all, now it is winning.'
Langley, is it time to exit Afghanistan? This Editor believes it certainly is and that we should go on record with Karzai , Bush and Nato that our commitment to Canada's war in Afghanistan will will last no more than another year and a half. It's high time that Canada focus on more desperate real peace keeping missions like Darfur.

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