Canada in Afghanistan

From Graeme Wood at The National:

Over the last three years, the Canadian military and Afghan security forces have fought the Taliban to a bloody stalemate. The Afghan police and army routinely drive over roadside bombs on Highway One, Zhari’s main road, which is bumpy with filled-in craters. In Zhari’s villages (there is no settlement larger than a cluster of a few war-demolished mud buildings), insurgents mount ambushes nearly every day. The Canadians, for their part, have tried to fight the war cleanly, with at times absurd levels of attention to law and rules of engagement. And despite being a modern and impressive fighting force, with armoured vehicles and innovative counterinsurgency tactics, they have died at a rate alarming even for a war zone – over 100 since 2001, in a force of only 2,500 (many of whom are not in combat roles). That death rate exceeds not only the US death rate in Afghanistan, but also the US death rate in Iraq.   [more]

To say that it is far from clear either what Canadian troops are doing in Afghanistan or whether they are even approaching meeting their goals is obvious.  I’m outraged that Canadians are dying at a greater rate than Americans in Iraq though.  Whose war is this?

Read this whole article – it’s clear that the writer thinks that Canadian troops follow the law in a way that’s not for their own good.  I, for one, am glad that is the perception.  Surely it’s the very least we can do?

But why are Canadian and Afghan soldiers and civilians dying?  Why do we have to wait till 2011 to get out.  Who knows what harm Obama can cause between now and then by revving up the war with fresh American troops, as he seems intent on doing.

via 3 quarks daily

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