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Friday, August 25, 2006 

Bullets fly. Ottawa ducks - Macleans.ca

Macleans.Ca has an incredible analysis of Canada's current mission in Afghanistan. Here is a very brief sampling:

"Gen. Rick Hillier, the charismatic chief of defence staff, who is deeply committed to helping Afghanistan find its feet as a democracy, recently admitted the obvious: the Taliban resistance in the south has been stiffer this summer than anyone expected. But Lt.-Gen. David Richards, the British officer who now commands all NATO troops in Afghanistan, has been far blunter. He openly speaks of the possibility of the Taliban winning if NATO forces fail to push back the insurgents sufficiently over the next few weeks, and unless ordinary Afghans see their own prosperity and security grow markedly better over the next three to five years. "If it doesn't visibly improve soon," Richards said, "people are going to say we'd rather have the certain security -- albeit the rotten life that goes with it -- of the Taliban than go on fighting forever."

Link to MACLEANS.CA site>

From : lance
Sent : August 25, 2006 10:25:48 PM
To : leftdog
Subject : New comment on Bullets fly. Ottawa ducks - Macleans.ca

lance has left a new comment on your post "Bullets fly. Ottawa ducks - Macleans.ca":

Rather selective in the quotes from that article, eh?

On the whole, I found it quite positive regarding the mission that is. (note the wording)

Cheers,
lance

lance - no disagreement here. But I believe that the comment from the senior NATO General has not had any kind of exposure in this country. I keep hearing people talking about 'when we defeat the Taliban' and I worry that they simply do not understand the challenges of a war where you are dealing with civilian insurgents rather than an actual army in the field. That is the bitter lesson that the western world should have learned from Vietnam. In a civilian insurgency, the guy who is smiling at you serving you tea in the cafe, might be the same guy who does a suicide bomb number on you tomorrow.

General Richards is pragmatic. I worry that General Hillier is under a lot of pressure from Ottawa to sound as positive as possible.

To be honest with you, I tend to think that Hillier doesn't need any pressure from Ottawa to spin Afghanistan. From what I've heard and read of the man over the years, I think he knows full well that his reputation is staked on this horrible adventure in imperialism.

It's actually kind of sad to listen to these foreign policy types to talk about "earning a seat at the grown up table."

Sigmund Freud would have a field day with Hillier and Harper and their lot.

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