Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says


Tyr
#1
More waffling and flip-flopping from Harpo.

I guess he's become Obama's PR guy, but I'll give him an A- for honesty

From Monday's Globe and Mail
March 1, 2009 at 9:35 PM EST

WASHINGTON — Canadian and other foreign armies can't defeat the Taliban, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

“Frankly, we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency,” Mr. Harper said, more than seven years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban regime. Canadian troops have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan since 2002, but this is the first time the Prime Minister has explicitly said defeating the Islamic extremists can't be done.

Mr. Harper, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, said that despite sending thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan and suffering more than 100 troop deaths, the “success has been modest” and any gains made could be lost.

“We're not going to win this war just by staying,” Mr. Harper said, and pointed to the long history of Afghan insurgencies successfully driving out foreign invaders – including the Soviet army in the 1980s and the British a century earlier.

"From my reading of Afghanistan history, it's probably had an insurgency forever, of some kind,” Mr. Harper said.


But Mr. Harper didn't rule out sending more troops or extending the Canadian combat commitment beyond the current 2011 deadline.

Despite unambiguous and repeated assertions – as recently as last week by Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon – that Canada won't extend its combat role in Afghanistan, Mr. Harper seemed to leave a little wiggle room on Sunday.
Asked if he would reject such a request from America's new president, Barack Obama, who has just ordered more than 17,000 additional U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan and has vowed to defeat the insurgency, Mr. Harper ducked the question, responding instead by saying: “If President Obama were to ask me that question, I would have a question back for him. And that question would be: ‘What is your plan to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans.'” Mr. Harper said the paramount issue for Canadians was not “whether we stay or whether we go,” but rather “are we being successful?” He suggested that after more than three years of deploying the biggest battle group Canada has sent overseas since the Korean War, “we have made gains. Those gains are not irreversible, so the success has been modest.”
Although Mr. Obama has made clear that he regards military success as only one dimension of eventual success in Afghanistan, he has never suggested defeating the insurgency can't be done.

Rather he has exhorted allies to do more militarily.

“We must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said during his major foreign-policy speech in Berlin during the election campaign. “The Afghan people need our troops and your troops, our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda.”
And just before his trip to Ottawa and the announcement he was sending 17,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, Mr. Obama said the war in “Afghanistan is still winnable,” although he made clear that solving “the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism” cannot be accomplished “solely through military means.”

However, with a NATO summit next month and Mr. Obama keen to secure more military commitments from increasingly reluctant European allies, Mr. Harper's assessment that defeating the insurgency is impossible may reinforce the split in the alliance.

Canada is one of the very few allies so far willing to send soldiers to southern Afghanistan, heartland of the Taliban where the insurgency has been growing. For Ottawa to be taking the position that foreign troops can't deliver victory may make Mr. Obama's task harder.

Mr. Harper said he welcomed the President's decision to send U.S. troops to relieve the embattled Canadian contingent. “We're delighted to have them, especially in Kandahar,” he said. But, he added, he wants to know Mr. Obama's strategy “for success and for an eventual departure.”
 
Nuggler
#2
.........Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says""


Catches on quick, don't he??
 
Tyr
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

.........Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says""


Catches on quick, don't he??

Uh huh. Only took three yrs....
 
#juan
#4
What a wonderfull thing for the Prime Minister to say. If that is the way he truly feels, why are we waiting until 2010 to bring our soldiers home? The Afghan army will need ten times as many troops and another five years to recruit and train them.
 
petros
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

.........Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says""


Catches on quick, don't he??

At least they really existsed unlike Al Qaeda. The dog chasing it's tail is only entertaniing for so long.
 
A4NoOb
#6
I think what Harper was trying to say here was very specific to his rhetorical question: "What is your plan to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans?"

Defeating the Taliban isn't impossible. Simply because it was done due to the military strategics of the Rumsfeld. It was his basic principles of depending on the forces of the Northern Alliance (Afghans) by supplying ammunition and air support. Within two weeks, the whole country of Afghanistan was practically liberated from Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. If there is an impossibility of the Taliban being defeated, it will be at the hands of liberal psuedo-intellectuals advocating "democracy and human rights" in Afghanistan.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#7
Funny now how Harper is eager to please Obama and say the obvious. I mean, I don't get it, why was it so politically impossible for Harper to say this during the Bush years? Is he such a suck?

For many Canadians it is so important that they get American approval. Now Harper has American approval so he can say the obvious. It is part of our un-political nature in my view.

A case of culture trumping politics. I mean, the US has imposed passport control on entry to the US by air. Sorry, the special relationship is over for me.
 
Dexter Sinister
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

.........Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says

How staggeringly brilliant of him to figure that out, but at least give him credit for seeing the truth and saying it out loud. It's been obvious from the beginning to anyone who knows anything about the history of colonialism and imperialism. It is simply not possible for a foreign power to defeat a guerrilla movement on its home territory, because they're at home and you're not. They're never going to go away and at some point you'll have to, because you don't live there and they do, and at some point the people where you live will refuse to pay the cost. The Dutch, the French, the Spanish, the Belgians, the Italians, the Portuguese, the Germans, the British, the Americans, the Soviets... every imperial nation ultimately failed in its ambitions, in India, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa, the Congo, Rhodesia, Indochina, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Vietnam, Afghanistan... If the people who live there don't want you there, you're going to lose in the long run with 100% certainty. Rarely, there can be a fairly civilized accommodation, as happened with Britain's imperial holdings in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but usually it's bloody war that nobody really wins. Some people just lose less than others.

I sometimes despair for the future of our species. We're such damnable fools sometimes, killing each other over useless bits of territory and trivial religious and political differences...
 
lone wolf
#9
How many more hearses have to travel across the Highway of Heroes now that Harpo has officially announced it's a lost cause ... but we're staying anyhow....
 
Cliffy
#10
I sometimes despair for the future of our species. We're such damnable fools sometimes, killing each other over useless bits of territory and trivial religious and political differences...

To some degree this negates both creationism and evolution. We may have become more intellectual but certainly have not evolved spiritually or morally. And if a god created us then he has to be completely incompetent.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#11
Look, some colonialism works. Why are there so many Sikhs and Punjabis from Indian in Canada? Allying with the great power to gain advantage over the other thousand tribes that get whacked? They all get whacked, but some benefit from the relationship. The world is an ugly place, there are winners and losers, and these days we are the winners and the losers want to learn some tactics from us.

And look, the European colonialism in the New World was a smashing success since 1492. It works big time.

Why do so many Indians want to sound "British"? Do they hate the British? A little, but not entirely. A political situation entirely beyond Canadians' mentality.

But the colonialism in Afhganistan is comically managed so it staggers toward a crushing defeat because the dolts in the war party are able to push their agenda over even greater dolts.
 
Unforgiven
#12
Harper leads like a dog. Wants to be out front but hasn't a clue where to go. I'm pretty sure that the sooner we dump this clown and his trained dog act the sooner we'll be able to get a recovery going, ignite some substantial and effective foreign policy and return to a balanced relationship with our neighbors to the south.
 
ironsides
#13
"I guess he's become Obama's PR guy, but I'll give him an A- for honesty"


No, more like a politician who follows the leader. Nothing honest about that.
F for getting people killed and wounded without a plan.


 
mabudon
#14
Okay, 3 more deaths of what kinda sounds like Sappers today..

I thought this was a no-win situation, there is NO way we should suffer anymore casualties, much less actual deaths

RIP to the fallen and it is too bad that the deaths are now OFFICIALLY for NOTHING
 
Tyr
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by ironsidesView Post

"I guess he's become Obama's PR guy, but I'll give him an A- for honesty"


No, more like a politician who follows the leader. Nothing honest about that.
F for getting people killed and wounded without a plan.


i was feeling generous that day. Ok. An "F" for Harpo for for getting people killed and wounded without a plan.
 
Trex
#16
I guess it needs saying one more time.
The LIBERAL party of Canada sent us to Afghanistan.
The LIBERAL party of Canada committed us to a fixed term on a UN mandated mission.

Harper has merely refused to bail out in the midst of a LIBERAL mandated international commitment.

Harper has made a lot of mistakes.
Harper probably will be out in 16 months or so.
This particular issue however is not one of Harpers mistakes.

The regular forces prefer and tend to vote for the Cons over the Libs.
The forces will never forget the day Trudeau stuck a knife in their collective backs.
The army and its leadership is pretty much behind Harpers decisions to date.
So whatever losses we are taking a pretty good chunk of our enlisted men still tend support both the mission and the leadership.

Harper has actually been increasing our international clout.
Canada, long ago, used to punch above its weight class internationally.
Under the repeated Liberal party leadership strategies which consisted of sucking up to countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, China and the USSR and turning our backs on the Americans, Australians and Western Europeans Canada actually fell in status to the point where internationally we were punching BELOW our weight class.
We still do in some respects.
Harper and the Con's have actually been doing a pretty good job internationally.
We are certainly once again gaining ground in international affairs.

At home it could be considered a slightly different story.

Its easy to find fault with the Con's.

The military and its current operations is not the place to look.

Trex
 
petros
#17
Quote:

The LIBERAL party of Canada sent us to Afghanistan.



Fear of a made up boogeyman that allegedly attacked another country sent us to Afghanistan. The wigged out masses would have **** a Yeti if our govt (any party) didn't send the forces of good after the apparition in the closet.
 
Colpy
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post


Fear of a made up boogeyman that allegedly attacked another country sent us to Afghanistan. The wigged out masses would have **** a Yeti if our govt (any party) didn't send the forces of good after the apparition in the closet.

The "boogeyman" has killed 111 Canadians, all of whom were working on your behalf.....

"allegedly attacked"???? 3,000 dead.....I would have thought even you would notice..... I know, I know, you're one of those "black flag" guys, aren't you?.......please, see if they can up your meds.

Your "9-11 conspiracy" house of cards came down in a controled demolition on CC a long time ago
 
Spade
#19
Colpy, let's be honest.
The September 11 conspirators were trained in the US and all but one were Saudis. I do not know who masterminded the attack, and neither do you.

If there is no prospect of defeating the insurgency, then our politicians have a sacred duty not to commit troops to a war that can't be won militarily. I agree, the Liberal's signed the Afghan Accord. But, this commitment was to the end of 2010. And, there were benchmarks for the Afghan government to meet; and if you read the terms of the compact, these terms were not met!
 
Spade
#20
http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/p...an_compact.pdf
 
CDNBear
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by TyrView Post

More waffling and flip-flopping from Harpo.

I guess he's become Obama's PR guy, but I'll give him an A- for honesty

Tyr, how do you defeat an ideology?

Well, except for completely eradicating everyone that holds. But that could be misconstrued as genocide...

So I guess I like Harper's stance on not killing them all and letting Allah sorting them out...

 
Spade
#22
Love the tagline, Bear! Do the voices whisper or yell?
 
darkbeaver
#23
Defeat the Taliban! Who gives a ****, if we want to be a free country we will have to defeat Israel.
 
Colpy
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by SpadeView Post

Colpy, let's be honest.
The September 11 conspirators were trained in the US and all but one were Saudis. I do not know who masterminded the attack, and neither do you.

If there is no prospect of defeating the insurgency, then our politicians have a sacred duty not to commit troops to a war that can't be won militarily. I agree, the Liberal's signed the Afghan Accord. But, this commitment was to the end of 2010. And, there were benchmarks for the Afghan government to meet; and if you read the terms of the compact, these terms were not met!

Well, funny about that: I'm more willing to believe lunatic Muslim extremeists that take credit for the attack......

As for defeating the insurgency, not so. The point is to keep Afghanistan forever out of the hands of those that would use it as a training base to attack the west. Indeed, they may have to go into Pakistan as well, as it looks like the Taliban are doing far too well there..........as long as we prevent them creating a safe haven from which they can plan and launch attacks on the west, we are successful.

The problem is largely lack of soldiers. Only the Brits, and the USA is willing to go shoulder to shoulder with us, and toe-to-toe with the Taliban.....other NATO countries have proven themselves useless.

Politically, it has become necessary for us to radically change our cmmitment in 2011. This saddens me, but I understand we are a democracy, and can not fight an extended war without the will of our people.......

I grieve for the West. We have lost 20 soldiers in 6 months......which has led to massively increased calls for our withdrawal, and (tonight on CBC) a reference to that casualty count as "horrendous" In 1943, as a nation of 12 million, against an enemy that had never attacked land in the western hemisphere, we lost 708 soldiers in 6 HOURS (at Dieppe)......and there was no call for withdrawal....merely a quiet determination to see it through.

That was the Canada I am proud of.
 
Machjo
#25
Hold on, did we even complete the original mission for which we were sent there, to capture Bin Ladin?
 
Machjo
#26
All these years and billions of dollars later...
 
Machjo
#27
And then once we got there, we decided, heck, forget Bin Laden, let's go after Iraq. Then in Afghanistan, we decided, heck, while we're here, let's clean up house... and still no Bin Laden. Oh the focus!
 
Machjo
#28
And why is Obama looking for Western European allies? Wouldn't allies who know the local language, religin, culture, etc. be preferable. Oh, sorry, forgot, that's the enemy we're trying to help and defend, or attacki, or... who's the enemy again, and whom are we trying to help? Ah, they all look the same anyway, right?
 
ironsides
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by SpadeView Post

Colpy, let's be honest.
The September 11 conspirators were trained in the US and all but one were Saudis. I do not know who masterminded the attack, and neither do you.

If there is no prospect of defeating the insurgency, then our politicians have a sacred duty not to commit troops to a war that can't be won militarily. I agree, the Liberal's signed the Afghan Accord. But, this commitment was to the end of 2010. And, there were benchmarks for the Afghan government to meet; and if you read the terms of the compact, these terms were not met!

Isn't that sort of defeatist talk, I am surprised that Harper actually said it, but moving on. I know that kind of talk fits into a few peoples agenda, but not the soldiers your country sent.
"I agree the Liberal's signed the Afghan Accord." That statement couldn't be farther from the truth. It was Canada who signed the Afghan Accord. As for the benchmarks, it was up to us to make sure they met them. They had no stable gov. capable of meeting anything.
Last edited by ironsides; Mar 5th, 2009 at 09:31 AM..
 
ironsides
#30
Here is a pretty good assessment of what is happening now with the Afghanistan issue:
As the United States seeks a new way forward in Afghanistan, it should seriously consider leaving behind old alliances that are proving to be more of a hindrance than a help in prosecuting the Global War on Terrorism. A good place to start is with NATO.

September 11, 2001. NATO rallied to America's side and immediately invoked the collective defense article of its charter, affirming its founding principle that an attack against one member state was an attack against all member states. NATO's initial display of unified determination to confront radical Islamism, however, quickly gave way to a half-hearted effort in Afghanistan that has been held back by limited troop contributions and national caveats on the employment of those troops that ultimately has limited the ability of coalition commanders in the field to effectively fight the war.

NATO's Western European members are in a difficult situation. Lacking domestic support for continuing operations in Afghanistan, but understanding their commitments to the alliance, many member states have imposed national caveats on their forces that severely restrict their usefulness to commanders on the ground. Some are restricted to their bases in support roles, while others are only permitted to engage in reconstruction and humanitarian operations. Some can only operate during daylight, and others are only able to fire their weapons in self defense (ruling out their use for offensive operations). The end result is that very few nations, the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, are bearing the brunt of the fighting, and the dying, in operations targeting the Taliban and al Qaeda.

NATO is not likely to get its act together in time to save Afghanistan, and a failed Afghan state is just not a realistic option. Losing in Afghanistan would not just open the door to terrorists seeking a safe haven from which to operate. it would pave the way for failure of Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of nearly 200


million that is barely hanging on against Islamic radicals threatening it not only from Afghanistan, but from within its own borders as well.

The United States is running out of options, and the time has come to consider abandoning an ineffective NATO in favor of coalitions of like-minded nations that possess both the will and the ability to succeed. Some of those nations will be NATO member states; others will not. There is no escaping the reality that NATO has fallen victim to the same national divisions that have rendered the United Nations impotent. It is a basic truth of international relations that alliances come and go, but national interests are enduring. Given what is at stake in Afghanistan, for the region and for the world, the United States must acknowledge that the current NATO effort is not working. Doing so will allow Washington to finally
craft a strategy for succeeding where America and its allies have thus far failed.

 
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