Why army officers in Afghanistan made career limiting moves
by Joe Hueglin, Canadian Political Columnist
Canadians have been led to believe matters are improving in Afghanistan. Parliament is in the process of voting that our 2,500 Canadian Forces personnel remain in Kandahar until 2011, subject to their reinforcement by 1 000 troops and six helicopters from our NATO allies.
On February 11th it was reported Gen. Gauthier, commander of all Canadian forces overseas, "invited reporters for an unusually open discussion in Kandahar ". They were informed our Forces had withdraw from most of Kandahar Province "to focus on a few central areas." and that "In places just beyond the Canadians' zone of control, the Taliban have established a parallel court system, enforced curfews, and mounted road checkpoints."
On February 23, 2008, Major Richard Moffet, Deputy Commander of Canada's battle group suggested that "Canada needs to double its current troop strength of 2,500 to keep the Taliban away from those important areas." and that "Easily you could have a brigade of 5,000 Canadians here just for Zhari, Panjwai, Arghandab, Shah Wali Kot and Khakrez, because to be honest, we haven't been to a few places in Panjwai yet. "
In the same article, Colonel Christian Juneau,Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Afghanistan, (Kandahar Province) is quoted as saying succinctly to elders concerned about Taliban in their outlying district " We don't have enough troops".
Both these officers were interviewed in Afghanistan by the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role In Afghanistan. Probabilities are they told the panelists what they hold to be true. Why otherwise than because Panel and now Parliament have ignored reality as they live it would they go public?
What other reason can there be for committing what amounts to professional suicide other than concern for the future of the men and women with them on their Mission?
About the writer:
Joe Hueglin is a former Member of Parliament and co-founder of the Progressive Canadian Party. You can email him any comments that you have about his political column. LINK
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