Sunday, July 08, 2007

Impossible Mission

The Prime Minister is determined for us not to discuss the mission in Afghanistan. Why? My guess is because it's not a winner for him politically. This is of course much bigger than politics and that is why it must be discussed and debated.

It is not enough to tell Canadians that we are there because the Afghan's want us there. It is not enough to say that girls now go to school. I have yet to hear one compelling argument as to what our goal is and how we plan to achieve it.

Oh, I know that we are there to "get the Taleban", but the various groups attacking us are going to be there forever. When they lose a man, he is replaced by two more and their recruitment appears to be gaining in strength, not weakening. The attacks are growing in number and strength and, as we have all read, everytime we change our tactics or strategy, they simply adapt.

A new study referred to in this article lays it out pretty clearly.

It turns out that a major power is much more likely to fail when its war aim requires some sort of co-operation on the part of the adversary or the citizens on the ground, in order to change a despised foreign or domestic policy, for example, or quell sectarian violence, or prop up a regime that's on shaky ground.

Of course the military don't seem to be in favour of studies.

"I look at this and see it has a formula, and I'm immediately turned off," says Lt.-Col. Doug Delaney, chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston.

While he makes good points about every situation being different, it seems to me that the criteria used by the study are still valid, in fact they are common sense.

However, Lt.-Col. Delaney then goes on to say this,

The challenge for the government is maintaining support for a conflict when people don't perceive a threat – of a failed state falling into the hands of extremists, for instance – particularly as Canadian deaths are rising, says Delaney.
It may well be that the key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago, he says.



Fantastic! Keep 'em scared and they'll buy the mission. Brilliant.

Call me crazy, but that is not what I want to hear from the military. This isn't new information to many of us, but it's interesting to actually see it expressed for a change.

More on the Senlis comments here.

10 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

The article was interesting but the mess we're in in Afghanistan includes a host of other factors. We're culturally, religiously, linguistically, politically and socially alien to the Afghan people. We're infidels. We're also there under impossible circumstances created at NDHQ and the PMO. With everything else we have going against us, our combat group has to do the job while being hopelessly understrength. Insane.

knb said...

I agree completely. Also, I heard someone from Senlis speak this morning, noting that no development is going on in the South. Without tangible reconstruction, development and aid to enhance (or perhaps offset is a better term), the military mission, it's doomed.

His work is in Kandahar, where he visits refugee camps etc. He stated quite emphatically that children are dying in these camps, from starvation. Perhaps Madame Verner should skip the bbq circuit and take a trip to these camps this summer.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I think that we are going round and round in this debate.

John

knb said...

We're not going round and round. When there is mounting evidence that the mission is flawed, it'll be pointed out.

On the other hand, there is nothing to suggest that it's going well.

Anonymous said...

Hi

KNB listen to former
Generals and they will tell
you if this mission is flawed,not the people who were against the mission in the first place. That would do anything to undermind the mission and yes we are
going round and round everything has been said for the mission and against it. I will not be making anymore comments on this i've already made my point for it.

John

Anonymous said...

Hi:

Please go here and read
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070708/afghanistan_mission_070708/20070708?hub=World

John

knb said...

John, I'm not getting your point.

I included that link in my post. Lewis is demanding more troops and say's it's not working now. "Military...when in doubt...more troops". Whatever, he states that it's not going well.

In the end, the article supports my argument, not yours.

I offer this in friendship. You misused a word, "undermind". My french is pathetic, (even thoug my Mom was French), but I appreciate correction. Are you cool with that?

Anonymous said...

Hi

KNB my point is that he said that we need more troops,not pool them out like you and others want.
I will give an example in ww2 everytime the allies advanced they always had enough troops to occupy the territory. So that the enemy can't go from behind and recapture the lost territory,it would also cut down civilian casualty.I know you included that link in your post.I have no problems with corrections. Sorry to say
but is how the article supports my argument, not yours. Please answer me this and i will not make anymore comments on this again,this time i this time i mean it LOL.How will the Afghan People be better off for Nato to pull it's troops out?

John

P.S. I WILL NOT BE MAKING ANYMORE COMMENT ON THIS THANKS JUST WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU CAN ANSWER ME THAT'S ALL.

Anonymous said...

SORRY CORECTION AGAIN I MEANT TO USE PULL INSTEAD OF (POOL)LOL

JOHN

knb said...

John, I've never suggested that NATO simply pull out tomorrow, but it's a very complex issue. The strategy of the mission is flawed. We needed NATO troops when the mission was launched, the US brushed that off.

Just as the US messed up the Iraq invasion, they have messed up Afghanistan. Now NATO is batting clean up, but it's not working obviously.

As to pulling out of Kandahar in 2009, I stand by that, so does your guy "Steve" now too, apparently.