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Afghanistan debate (Hillier, new troops)

kEiThZ

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The West's resolve is being tested at every turn, and for the most part we are failing those tests. If the US leaves Iraq in tatters, then insurgents from Saudi Arabia and Iran will fill the void. If the international forces leave Afghanistan, same thing will happen. It is ugly no matter what.
Russia is testing our resolve with Georgia - and so far, we are failing that. It makes me shudder to think what would be happening if Georgia had made it into NATO by now.

We can't leave Afghanistan.
While I would agree with you on Iraq and Afghanistan....I dont want to see those places worse off than they are now.....Georgia is a different matter. This is Russian payback for NATO's meddling in Kosovo.
 

jade_lee

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Not only can we pull out of Afghanistan but we will and nothing will be different. What fools armies can be. The economic conditions in Afghanistan improve with the sale of poppies and conditions get worse when poppy eradication is in progress. Will the Taliban be defeated? I doubt it and so should most rational thinkers. It's like saying one can eradicate the evangelists in the states, how foolish do you war mongers get?
 

jade_lee

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Hillier does not impress me. He has made strategic mistakes and it's a good thing for him that he no longer leads a failed mission. This Canadian involvement in Afghanistan can be looked at from many different perspectives but it's still a failed mission and only when our troops leave and things get worse will the average Canadian scratch their head and cheer the returning troops and once again the money will dry up and the soldier will have to fight it's own government to repair the personal damage experienced by them while they did what they were ordered to do by the Nato commanders in the field who reported to Hillier once upon a time.
 

jade_lee

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I had the opportunity to brief General Hillier a few months back. The guy is truly a class act I tell ya. He extremely intelligent and knowledgeable but has a very laid back personality.

He treated me, a 27 yr old LT, at the time, as good or better than any of the generals who were sitting in his office at the time. He took the time to read up on the issues the night before. I was extremely impressed to know that he had read the history of the Pashtun peoples for the last 200 years before the briefing. Anyone who knows the schedules of any CEO or general know that even 10 mins of their day is a big deal. Reading for hours on end on your own time, while working 12-15 hrs a day everyday at that age is truly something.

To top it off...he is the consummate Canadian patriot. His sole concerns were the boys and girls in the field, Canada's interest and place in the world and meeting the needs of Afghans. He is a man that truly wanted the best for Canada and the best for the men and women under his command.

He will truly be missed.
Who did he mean when he called the enemy "scumbags"???
 

Hydrogen

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^Is your position one where the poppy trade stays and grows, providing far more money to the end-seller?

A simple solution would be to pay poppy farmers not to grow poppies and to grow something else (it'd be cheap by our dollar standards). The trouble is that they would then need protection from their buyers.
 

kEiThZ

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I think the senlis council solution was an excellent idea. Use Afghan poppies to create a supply stream for morphine. It's one that has support in our government. The question is one of implementation. How do we ensure that its Afghans getting the cash not the Taliban.

Will we succeed in Afghanistan? Hard to say. It's a really challenging mission. But so was WWII and Canada happened to put on one hell of a fight there. Canadians happened to be the most feared troops on the front. Afghanistan is once again proving that we are a tough but compassionate people. But reconstruction is challenging. It's kinda hard when the enemy blows up every second school you build or orders the Afghans not to send little girls to school or receive immunizations.

What we need are realistic standards...not we will get rid of the taliban, stop the poppy trade, etc. More like, the Afghan Army will be ready to take on the Taliban, and the government will be able to enrol so many kids in school, etc. That way Afghanistan moves from failed state to failing state with an upward trend....
 

kEiThZ

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Hillier does not impress me. He has made strategic mistakes and it's a good thing for him that he no longer leads a failed mission. This Canadian involvement in Afghanistan can be looked at from many different perspectives but it's still a failed mission and only when our troops leave and things get worse will the average Canadian scratch their head and cheer the returning troops and once again the money will dry up and the soldier will have to fight it's own government to repair the personal damage experienced by them while they did what they were ordered to do by the Nato commanders in the field who reported to Hillier once upon a time.
Yes you would know. Because apparently you have tons of experience leading a nation's armed forces. You have also probably served under two prime ministers from opposing ends of the spectrum and have lead the reconstitution of the armed forces from its decade of darkness.

There is no doubt that Hillier made mistakes. He is human after all. But you will not find a single member of the military that does not back him or doubts his leadership, and that says a lot.

At the end of the day, I will follow General Hillier over you any day. And apparently so would most of the Canadian people, two government administrations and all our serving men and women. Because he cares about those who serve more than you ever will. And he cares more about Canada and its place in the world than you ever will. I have personally seen him eat the same grub as the troops, shed tears for our fallen comrades, and hug our loved ones. He attends the funeral of every CF member even when he is not obligated to. Even on his final parade, he didn't salute the PM or the GG. He singled out and saluted the troops on parade. Find me a prime minister who grieves for even one service member who is killed attempting search and rescue in Canada.
 

kEiThZ

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Who did he mean when he called the enemy "scumbags"???
I see no issue with calling the enemy scumbags. I assure that's what every soldier was thinking. When somebody is trying to kill you, its unlikely that you will have warm, fuzzy thoughts about them.
 

kEiThZ

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To jade_lee

Do you feel good knowing that you advocate the murder of innocent Afghan men, women and children everyday? With people like you cheering for us to fail (and you know that's what you are really rooting for), I'll know who to blame, for the Taliban massacres that will follow if NATO withdraws early. Afghans civies don't matter right?...as long as your anti-western predictions come true, you are willing to throw them under the bus.
 

afransen

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I think the senlis council solution was an excellent idea. Use Afghan poppies to create a supply stream for morphine. It's one that has support in our government. The question is one of implementation. How do we ensure that its Afghans getting the cash not the Taliban.

Will we succeed in Afghanistan? Hard to say. It's a really challenging mission. But so was WWII and Canada happened to put on one hell of a fight there. Canadians happened to be the most feared troops on the front. Afghanistan is once again proving that we are a tough but compassionate people. But reconstruction is challenging. It's kinda hard when the enemy blows up every second school you build or orders the Afghans not to send little girls to school or receive immunizations.

What we need are realistic standards...not we will get rid of the taliban, stop the poppy trade, etc. More like, the Afghan Army will be ready to take on the Taliban, and the government will be able to enrol so many kids in school, etc. That way Afghanistan moves from failed state to failing state with an upward trend....
Apparently Turkey is very strongly opposed to competition in the legit narcotic trade.

So, I get the impression that facilitating other forms of agriculture is the best bet. This means repairing dams and reservoirs used for irrigation, providing reliable roads/transport infrastructure to help get food to market, possibly some microfinance?
 

Hydrogen

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Apparently Turkey is very strongly opposed to competition in the legit narcotic trade.

So, I get the impression that facilitating other forms of agriculture is the best bet. This means repairing dams and reservoirs used for irrigation, providing reliable roads/transport infrastructure to help get food to market, possibly some microfinance?
Exactly. Financing legal narcotics trade in Afghanistan will affect other producers and attract more Afghan farmers into the trade at the expense of other forms of agriculture necessary for that country. In the long run it is better to fund base necessities for the local population first, then export.
 

Zeeman28a

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As long as people are willing to strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves and others up, not even 1,000,000 troops would make a difference.

Unfortunately, NATO, or more specifically, the U.S, are going to be there a long, long time.
 

kEiThZ

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Apparently Turkey is very strongly opposed to competition in the legit narcotic trade.

So, I get the impression that facilitating other forms of agriculture is the best bet. This means repairing dams and reservoirs used for irrigation, providing reliable roads/transport infrastructure to help get food to market, possibly some microfinance?
CIDA is attempting to get pomegranate cultivation going. Afghanistan was famous for pomegranates and grapes prior to the soviet invasion. And various aid agencies are also working on microfinance projects, following the model grameen bank in bangladesh.

It's a race against time. How quickly can we build the social, physical and government infrastructure for Afghanistan before the western public recalls all the troops. The end goal for Canada in 2011 will be for us to leave a Kandahar that can sustain itself. It won't be safe. There will still be Taliban around. There will still be poppies. But hopefully, the Afghans will have the tools to start tackling these problems themselves.
 

Urban Shocker

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So with all that pomegranate juice to drink the Afghans will have enough antioxidants in their systems to kill all the free radicals Al-Qaeda can throw at them? Then can we go home?
 

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