Aug 07 2009

We Will Support the Afghan People for As Long as It Takes

Published by at 7:52 am under Afghanistan,Canada,canadian politics

NATO’s new Secretary General leave no room for confusion. We’re in to win in Afghanistan.

From the LA Times: “I’m not in favor of setting timelines,” new NATO head and former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a press conference at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels today. “Let no Taliban propagandist try to sell my message as a run for the exits. It is not. We will support the Afghan people for as long as it takes.”

… which makes headlines like “Nato Boss urges talks with the Taliban” from the Globe and Mail seem at least a little misleading

The only thing the Globe reports about Rasmussen is that “he would support dialogue with moderates within the Taliban” — meaning those Taliban recruited for a few dollars a day from among the throngs of unemployed youth, who have no real attachment to the cause. Afghanistan has already been disarming and demobilizing these kind of Taliban for years. Nothing new here.

But Rasmussen’s commitment reminds us that Canadian leaders need to start talking seriously about what happens after 2011.

We’ve sacrificed much already to help Afghanistan transition from a failed state harboring Al Queda into a fragile new democracy struggling in a dangerous neighborhood. The country faces huge challenges, the Taliban’s violence being only the most visible one. We should remain committed to Afghanistan’s development to help reinforce the gains made thus far.

That doesn’t mean letting our other NATO allies off the hook — we can certainly look at how and where our military assets are deployed in the field. But in the big picture, it makes perfect sense for Canadian development aid efforts to be safeguarded by Canadian soldiers.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “We Will Support the Afghan People for As Long as It Takes”

  1. Durwardon 07 Aug 2009 at 11:14 am

    Until we admit the enemy is Islam and not just against one of an infinite number of extreme groups with-in Islam, we are wasting our time and the Taliban or another Islamic fanatical group will just take over the minute we leave, so we might as well close shop now.
    This is a war against the world waged by and in the name of a religion, until we face the truth we are throwing lives away.

  2. jnarveyon 07 Aug 2009 at 11:21 am

    Sorry, Durward. I disagree.

    Your stance is just as dogmatic and untenable as the Taliban’s. It’s the other side of the same coin.

  3. Pattisonon 09 Aug 2009 at 7:30 am

    Narvey! I’m glad to see your voice of sanity on the Afghan issue. I’m with you 100%. Here in Toronto there’s so little support for what our soldiers are doing in Afghanistan that it is a relief to find this. Also, I thought I’d let you know I was reading rather than be a creepy lurker. :)

  4. jnarveyon 11 Aug 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the support from TO! Happy to see you in the comments.

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