What should Canadas post-2011 Afghan strategy be

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Erik Redburn

I almost feel bad doing this now but has this been posted here yet?  Layton is apparently listening to those at the G&M too...  I wonder if they'll be kinder to his new "democratic" party's new stance now?

 

"We've come a long way since the first voices in our country called for a new role for Canada in Afghanistan. Internationally and in Canada, we are seeing a new will emerging to turn the page and begin a more balanced policy toward Afghanistan.

Gone are the name-calling and overheated rhetoric. Gone is the questioning of support for our troops. In their place is recognition of the limits of force in dealing with a situation that has its roots in politics and the economy. World leaders are now looking for ways to stabilize Afghanistan and the region."

 

I think we may be underestimating him, Jacko maybe going for Evil's old records and leaping several sharks simultaneously. 

 

http://www.ndp.ca/press/canadas-next-steps-in-afghanistan

 

And another Obama reference too!

 

"In Canada, the Department of National Defence has admitted that the "insurgency is a political problem. The mere attrition of insurgents is highly unlikely to result in [their] defeat." Prime Minister Harper, an ardent supporter of staying the course, confessed recently that Canada will not win this war just by staying.

I'm glad Prime Minister Harper now sees that stability and peace require negotiation. New Democrats have been trying to convince him of that for some time. But what matters now is determining our next steps.

Our skills and reputation as a peacemaker give Canada the basis for an active role after our troops withdraw in 2011. We must begin laying the foundations for that diplomatic role now. I believe that a special envoy, who may be more concerned with our national interest, will not have a significant impact."

 

Very nicely nuanced and ambiguous though, but which way is the wind blowing again?

 

Fidel

Yep, I can see it all now, Taliban Jack is really Jack O'[email protected] He rides in'a town on a pale horse and takes peace from the earth and leavin' everything all desolate, trampled down, barren and bare and everything. Jackniew Brzelayton is secretly conniving and plotting world domination!! What's a few stirred up babblers compared to global dictatorship under Jack's boot and the NDP?

Frmrsldr

Jingles wrote:

There is only one way out: Unconditional surrender of the Crusader armies, and the immediate withdrawal out of the region. 

 

Unconditional surrender and withdrawal from the country are not the same thing. The insurgents are diverse, but as long as the foreign Crusader occupiers remain, they are united in one area: fighting to expel the occupiers. The insurgents will never be defeated (ie., will never surrender). The advantages they have is they are the home team and they are more motivated and more numerous than we are. Look at the history of Afghanistan: From Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, through to the British and the Russians, no foreign invader/occupiers surrendered to the Afghans unconditionally, or otherwise. All foreign occupiers (some were assimilated and became Afghans - the Hazaras, for example) left Afghanistan like dogs with their tails between their legs. The sole advantage we have is our firepower (technology) which will prevent us from surrendering unconditionally.

The Afghan people will resist foreign occupation the way they always have and the way the Vietnamese did: They will outfight us and outlast us. Just as in the past, we will become so sick of the Afghan war, the loss of American, Canadian, British etc., lives and the lost sense of purpose that it will boil down to us leaving Afghanistan. Whether we simply decide to chuck in the towel and leave or try to leave somewhat 'gracefully' through peace talks is a minor difference in political tack.

Peace talks or no, it is a win-win scenario for the Afghans. The insurgent leaders know this.

If the U.S. and U.K. are not interested in peace talks, it means our governments think we can win the war. When we seriously start motions toward peace talks, it is a sign of weakness on our part. It means our governments have come to the inescapable conclusion that we have lost the war. 

Peace talks or no, it is a lose-lose situation for us. Although of course they will not admit this publicly anytime soon, clowns like Obama, Gordon Brown and Harper know this.

"My own judgement... quite frankly is we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency." - Stephen Harper in a CNN interview, March 1, 2009.

Jack Layton's suggestion of peace talks offered Harper a face saving way out of Afghanistan. Harper refused to grasp Jack Layton's olive branch and even threw out an insult with the "Taliban Jack" moniker. That was then. Now, or in the near future, Harper may have to choke down a little crow and accept Jack's offer to try to make the best of a bad situation.

Fidel

Taliban and US officials have been talking all the while through backchannels. It's what the Americans have been doing since WW II, talking with the enemy and even cutting deals with them. But the details are never out in the open or made public until years later.

 
[url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5908498.ece]Taliban chief backs Afghan peace talks[/url] Mullah Omar approves talks aimed at ending war in Afghanistan and is participating in Saudi-sponsored peace negotiations

That was last spring and several commentators since have noted that US officials have regularly met with Taliban mediators on a semi to regular basis. What's needed, according to Layton and the NDP, Tariq Ali and so on as well as myself, are transparent UN mediated peace talks where everyone knows what the bargaining chips are and sticking points. Afghans are in the dark as is the rest of the world as to what issues are holding up peace between the two phony enemies and an end to the organized murder after 30 years worth of US and other countries meddling in Afghanistan

 

Frmrsldr

Frmrsldr wrote:

If the U.S. and U.K. are not interested in peace talks, it means our governments think we can win the war. When we seriously start motions toward peace talks, it is a sign of weakness on our part. It means our governments have come to the inescapable conclusion that we have lost the war. 

 

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/13/gates-remains-optimistic-insists-afgh...

"Though the nation has been torn by record violence, Gates insisted 'we have done some real damage over time' in fighting the various insurgent factions in the nation, and said military victory will take 'a few years,' the most optimistic projection seen from a major official in recent days."

Fidel

Frmrsldr wrote:

Frmrsldr wrote:

If the U.S. and U.K. are not interested in peace talks, it means our governments think we can win the war. When we seriously start motions toward peace talks, it is a sign of weakness on our part. It means our governments have come to the inescapable conclusion that we have lost the war. 

"Though the nation has been torn by record violence, Gates insisted 'we have done some real damage over time' in fighting the various insurgent factions in the nation, and said military victory will take 'a few years,' the most optimistic projection seen from a major official in recent days."

Richard Nixon campaigned on a "peace with honor" promise to Americans and was made president in 1969. Paris peace talks begin weeks later, and by 1972 Kissinger concluded peace talks with the NVA. NVA reviewed the agreement and published the details. Doctor and madman felt NVA were trying to embarrass them into a new round of negotiations and begin bombing Hanoi. Nixon forces peace agreement on South in 73 and announces end of US assault on North. Pretty clever PR work by the VietNamese as US public suport for the war waned and Nixon losing hopes for re-election.

It's been said among hawks as well as the left that the VietNam war was lost not on the battle fields of VietNam, but by the news media. I think that backchannel talks have been ongoing between US officials and Taliban. I'm wondering why, if the Taliban are entirely dissatisfied with peace offerings from US officials that they dont publish details of the peace proposals in order to embarrass Washington, and especially a Democrat government in Washington. It was a Democrat government under Clinton which they were wheeling and dealing with from 1996 to GWB. And I'm thinking, perhaps the Taliban are not all that dissatisfied with things in general. They are warring pretty well with nearly 100,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan and still flitting across the border to and fro from Pakistan. Are the Taliban simply being discreet about these alleged backchannel talks?  Malalai Joya says the drug economy is financing the Taliban, and that a civil war is already underway and NATO is doing nothing to stop it. It's as if the two sides are uninterested with winning the war much less publicizing peace proposals 1970's style.

IOW's, it would seem that the Taliban have everything going their way, just like the NVA&VC did in 1973. The Taliban now have the American public behind them in supporting an end to the war and US pullout. And yet the Taliban are apparently maintaining a news media blackout of any and all discussions with US officials and their Saudi mediators. Strange war.

Fidel

[url=http://socialistworker.org/2009/08/27/no-solidarity-with-taliban]No solidarity with the Taliban[/url] Socialist Worker

Quote:

But the far-right Taliban cannot unite such fighters behind itself. Nick makes sweeping claims about the total absence of an Afghan working class or even a "progressive petit bourgeoisie." Then where does Joya come from? Or the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, which opposes the government and the Taliban.

The country is certainly devastated and overwhelmingly rural. But are we to believe that there are no airport workers, no transportation workers, no teachers, no medical staff, no miners, no natural gas industry? Claims about the lack of a working class in the poorest countries have become common on the left, and they are false.

As Anand Gopal has pointed out, even the Taliban's rural support is strictly excluded from Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and other areas. Recently the government passed discriminatory legislation against Shias (whose rights Joya defends). Clearly, the bigoted Sunni Taliban cannot capitalize on this to build resistance.

Bigoted Taliban unable to lead Afghan struggle past stalemate.

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