There is still no credible strategy for winning this war nor any description of what victory would look like. Still, Canadians complacently go about their business scrupulously avoiding thinking about the fact that Canada is in a shooting war on the other side of the planet. At a time when our health care system desperately needs fixing we are spending blood and treasure to fight
General David Petraeus has stated the current withdrawal date of 2014 is unlikely. By then, it'll be 13 years and counting with little hope of success.
Oh wait! Maybe I spoke too soon as this report from Reuter's has the US General Richard Mills declaring, "The battle for Marjah is essentially over." Well then, that makes all the difference knowing this bit of scrub in the south has essentially been won.
And Canadian troops are fighting for an arid patch of farmland that has been fought over for years; taken, retaken several times and abandoned.
The Zangabad area was fought over in 2006 as NATO forces chased newly routed insurgent fighters through the district following the landmark battle Operation Medusa. But insurgents trickled back into the hardscrabble villages and fields where camels graze, which set the stage for future battles.Having completely given up on any hope of winning hearts and minds, the American forces have stepped up their air war in Afghanistan tallying 2,600 attack sorties between June and October, a 50 percent increase over the same period in 2009.
A previous rotation of Van Doos fought to take the ground in 2007, but by the spring of 2008 the Taliban had sewn so many roadside bombs and booby traps into the tangled landscape that it was impossible for Canadian troops to drive into the area without facing massive explosives. The soldiers took to walking – albeit gingerly – into the area.
That changed in the spring of 2009 when Canadians pulled back and concentrated on defending Kandahar city and other towns.
Karzai has backtracked on his plan to ban
And lastly, David Cameron says things are so fabulous in Afghanistan he's considering pulling out British troops as early as next year.
Recent reports have indicated that one year after the last Obama Administration escalation of the war things are still going poorly.