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Afghanistan debate (Hillier, new troops)

afransen

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I have a sneaking suspicion that we won't leave in 2011. Frankly, we have something of a moral imperative to stay there. We had our part in upsetting what peace and government there was prior to invasion, and so we need more than a few casualties to justify out extrication. For instance, most Afghans want us to stay... can we really leave them to the wolves with good conscience?

I think it has become fashionable for people to moan about imperialism or other such idiocy. I think that on the whole, Canada is doing good work in Afghanistan, and work worth doing. While we could certainly do better (corruption in the Afghan government really needs to be dealt with harshly--we should be leveraging our aid to accomplish this), I have no doubt that in the long run the effort can succeed.
 

Hydrogen

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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.
That'd be, like, one soldier for every nine Afghans.

As the quality of life slowly improves for the population, the attacks of insurgents will acquire an ever more negative impression with the population. When people finally have something - like basic security, infrastructure, safe markets, a means to make a living, schools and safety for children, opportunities for a better future - the loss of those things from homicide attacks will become ever more painful and hated by the population at large. Increasingly, it won't be so easy to hide among or intimidate a group of people if they feel that their own hard-earned gains are threatened once again.
 

jade_lee

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The Afghans will decide what's best for their country, the people who intend to live there as citizens. The biggest problem an uneducated population faces is that they usually live in poverty where basic physical needs overrides their need for political insight. The Afghans will survive this almost unstoppable war conflict resolution delusion others impose on her. The society is damaged and will require thoughtful monetary mending if and when the bombs and bullets dry up. Political accommodation and solid policing is always the way to resolve violence in a society but thanks to the Bush administration our stupid governments, both the Liberals and now the Conservatives we are stuck in Afghanistan not understanding why we are there. This is what our leaders should be discussing frankly with Canadians. October 09 will give us plenty of time to access the problem of Afghanistan.
 

jade_lee

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It's not just about having an issue with the term scumbag but also the fact that Hillier like the Liberals who sent the troops to Afghanistan had no idea who the enemy was or even the conflicts that existed in Afghanistan which only made the scumbag remark even more incredulous. I expect more from Canadians who represent us.
 

kEiThZ

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It's not just about having an issue with the term scumbag but also the fact that Hillier like the Liberals who sent the troops to Afghanistan had no idea who the enemy was or even the conflicts that existed in Afghanistan which only made the scumbag remark even more incredulous. I expect more from Canadians who represent us.
I don't think you remember how that played out. The CF was ordered to deploy to Afghanistan in direct cooperation with US forces, who were sent there after 9/11. And that was an attack that killed 30+ Canadians as well, which aside from the Air India incident was the largest terror inflicted casualty toll on Canada.

So what you have us do after something like 9/11? Pick from below:

a) Do nothing....and probably risk another attack.
b) Bomb the hell out of them as revenge and call it a day....I wonder if all the critics would then criticize us for not occupying the country?
c) Rebuild the country to insure it isn't used as a base for jihadi terrorists, and accept all the criticism from armchair strategists back home, who somehow think that we know nothing despite years of education, training and experience in dealing with broken societies.

Given the US track record with Germany and Japan, I would say option c is good. And don't forget Canada helped out with those occupations then to, and surprisingly the Europeans still treat me really well when I am in uniform in Europe. The west could have bombed Afghanistan to kingdom come. Instead it chose to stay, stick it out, keep the Taliban at bay and rebuild Afghanistan.

So now given all that, let's get to your contentions about Hillier's comments. In addition to representing Canadians as you said (which incidentally all public servants do), he also has a duty to represent the Canadian Forces. Now it is unfortunate he chose those words, but I assure you that those on the receiving end of enemy fire have used much more colourful language in describing their opponents. And I doubt you would be so charitable if someone was shooting at you. I don't think any service member feels that he was out of line. For once, we have a general who drop the diplomatic BS and says what's on everybody's mind. He speaks for the common soldier. And that's why the troops loved him. That's why both the Liberals and the Conservatives tried to bottle him up. And for that, we love him all the more....
 

Hydrogen

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Political accommodation and solid policing is always the way to resolve violence in a society
In effect that is what is going on right now in Afghanistan. But as you are unwilling to go beyond platitudes, there's no way to know what you would do differently.

The Afghans will survive this almost unstoppable war conflict resolution delusion others impose on her.
What delusions are you speaking of?

The biggest problem an uneducated population faces is that they usually live in poverty where basic physical needs overrides their need for political insight.
No kidding, an uneducated population is living in poverty? What a discovery! When the Taliban ruled, they certainly did not put education in the top ten things to do - unless it was the religious education they sought to impose. For females, there was no education. Period.

Guess what many foreign governments and NGO's are trying to do in Afghanistan today? Promote education. But you don't want them there.

The society is damaged and will require thoughtful monetary mending if and when the bombs and bullets dry up.
That's the effort that is under way right now. Sounds like you actually support it.
 

jade_lee

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It's a war in Afghanistan nothing more and nobody is winning at the moment....you can talk all about the wonderful things going on,,,,,but it's going to get far worse before it gets better and perhaps a new generation will never experience anything other than war there...all the bravado in the world is not going to change this failure of the American dominated NATO war adventure in Afghanistan and I would prefer the Canadian public realize this before we permit the current conservatives to spend like drunken sailors on weapons of no value.
I would get the Canadian troops out of Afghanistan......Pakistan is ready to blow.

The soldier values the lives of his country, the country should value the life of the soldier. Should we sacrifice one more Canadian for ancient conflicts that have festered between men long dead? Give needed humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. absolutely, continue to fight people who want you out of Afghanistan? Time is a wasting, get to the table and speak with those who need to be heard.
 

kEiThZ

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The Afghans will decide what's best for their country, the people who intend to live there as citizens.
Exactly. That's Canada, US and NATO policy in Afghanistan. So what's the dispute? Our UN mandate requires us to be there at the invitation of the Afghan government. When they decided we should leave we will go. I assure you, nobody wants to stay a minute longer.

The biggest problem an uneducated population faces is that they usually live in poverty where basic physical needs overrides their need for political insight.

No kidding. And that's one of the biggest challenges for the Canadian battle group and the Canadian led provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan. You should note, that the number of girls enrolled in school, and number of kids enrolled in total is higher than it has been in decades. And that's with the Taliban killing teachers who teach girls and blowing up girls schools.
As for political insight, you are right their basic needs overwhelm political aspirations. When the Taliban are going to kill you for not having a beard, or sending your daughter to school, security is first and foremost. Next comes food and shelter. NATO handles the first, the NGOs do the latter with some NATO help. And NATO is also working hard to rebuild the civic infrastructure to allow political governance to improve. Canada provides the Afghan ministers with military officers to train their staff in such basics as taking minutes for meetings, writing memos, how to draft and evaluate policy, etc. In fact, the Afghan ministers like the Canadians so much, that they don't use anyone else and don't want these advisers to leave, though Canada wanted to pull them back this year. Some have joked, that these Canadian officers are so good, that we should assign them to ministers in Ottawa.

The Afghans will survive this almost unstoppable war conflict resolution delusion others impose on her.
The Taliban brought this war on Afghanistan by harbouring their global jihadi cousing, Al Qaeda. And yes, the Afghan people will survive this conflict, because they are much tougher than many of the armchair critics in the West. What have you done to help the Afghans lately?

The society is damaged and will require thoughtful monetary mending if and when the bombs and bullets dry up.
Like the billions in aid pouring in now? There is a property boom of sorts in Kabul from all the money sloshing around. And we aren't waiting for the bombs and bullets to dry up, we have begun rebuilding already.

Political accommodation and solid policing is always the way to resolve violence in a society but thanks to the Bush administration our stupid governments, both the Liberals and now the Conservatives we are stuck in Afghanistan not understanding why we are there.
Political accomodation? Please tell me who we should negotiate with. The Afghan government, NATO and the Canadian force commander has repeatedly said the Taliban are welcome to join the government if they put down their arms. Somehow, they don't seem to return our phone calls....

And you may not know why we are in this war, but our governments certainly do. Remember that day in September 2001....when 3000 innocent souls perished including over 30 Canadians. Remember the panic in downtown Toronto when we wondered if we were next, as the city shut down the subway and deployed police everywhere. All that emanating from Afghanistan. We are there to prevent a repeat of that. The west wants to rebuild and create a strong and stable Afghanistan, that won't become a refuge for anti-western jihadis.


This is what our leaders should be discussing frankly with Canadians. October 09 will give us plenty of time to access the problem of Afghanistan.
Yes, they should tell the public, and repeatedly remind them why we are there. They should remind them of how brutal the Taliban were towards the Afghans. They should remind them of 9/11. They should remind them that AQ has attacked every country on its list except Canada. They should remind Canadians that we have offered peace to the Taliban, including offers of political power, money and amnesty, but they have refused all of them in favour of jihad. The government should remind Canadians the old maxim that tyranny anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. And they should show Canadians lots of pictures of hope filled Afghan school kids and ask them what they would do if these children were their own. The polls would be a lot different then....

And you should tell us, what you would do. You have been on here a number of times criticizing the mission but offering no solution to help the Afghan people. Do you want us to abandon them to the Taliban? Answer: yes or no.
 

lordmandeep

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IMO support for Israel has gone down since the Iraq War and 9/11...

They faced a lot of backlash for that last war and before 9/11 they were unopposed.

Imo it was a stupid move as 9/11 has caused more of the world to turn against US/Israel.
 

jade_lee

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A moral imperative to stay in Afghanistan is rich at the very least.
I read today that we are going to award a contract to a group affiliated with the Blackwater war industry in the states to teach our troops how to fight the terrorists....is this plan D or E now? Canadian NATO troops are sure going to have to learn a new tune once the Americans pull out of Afghanistan (95% of the troops there are American). Will the Canadian troops just bare with it or will they send 1000 American trained Canadian troops to Afghanistan then and just "hope" for the best. Sorry you can love the soldiers but think this NATO mission looks more like suicide everyday. BTW to all those Afghan Poppy solution advocates here, we can't eradicate the growth of pot in north America but you think you have some good strategies going on in Afghanistan to stop the growth of the poppy? How silly boys!
There are not enough troops, that has always been known and to prolong this war disaster is to make the people of Afghanistan suffer more than they are already.....they will be asking us to go just like the Iraqi government is asking the Americas to get the hell out by 2011.....That is the obama plan no? So when 2011 comes to pass I wonder what you war supporters will be saying then?

Keithz you can beat your war drums but people who live in countries that have been invaded usually fight back and being a Canadian I do believe NATO had good intentions but I don't think they ever did their homework and the learning curve of this war looks like we get dumber by the second.....go look at the danger indicators and you will see the chaos that we have helped create over there.
 

kEiThZ

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A moral imperative to stay in Afghanistan is rich at the very least.

Keithz you can beat your war drums but people who live in countries that have been invaded usually fight back and being a Canadian I do believe NATO had good intentions but I don't think they ever did their homework and the learning curve of this war looks like we get dumber by the second.....go look at the danger indicators and you will see the chaos that we have helped create over there.
What you have us do after something like 9/11? Pick from below:

a) Do nothing....and probably risk another attack.
b) Bomb the hell out of them as revenge and call it a day....I wonder if all the critics would then criticize us for not occupying the country?
c) Rebuild the country to insure it isn't used as a base for jihadi terrorists, and accept all the criticism from armchair strategists back home, who somehow think that all of us who work in the military, foreign affairs, development, etc know nothing despite years of education, training and experience in dealing with broken societies.

So tell me, what your solution is. STATE IT EXPLICITLY. I have yet to see you come out and say, "Abandon Afghanistan." If you want us to leave the Afghans to rot, why dont you say it. If you can't offer any solutions, then stop wasting everyone's time.
 

urbandreamer

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My solution:

a)do nothing. Since it was the gov't at fault (horrible intelligence) if you believe the terrorist angle, or the gov't at fault if you believe the "inside job" theory, the cheapest solution is to vote out the gov't!

Less people are killed. Less tax dollars are wasted.

A real man does NOTHING!
 

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