Sunday, October 03, 2010

An important on-the-ground perspective from Afghanistan

"After nine years of effort in the country, and several years of intense effort in Kandahar City and the surrounding districts, there is no substantial progress that we can claim for the region. Violence and insecurity are at record levels. The Taliban move and strike throughout most of the country at will. Public confidence in the Karzai regime and NATO is near zero...

"Yes, we should be commended for taking on the part of Afghanistan known to be the toughest. But it must also be recognized that we have failed, and we need to examine whether the failure was in our approach, in the strategies and tactics applied to the mission -- or was success in Afghanistan never even possible? If the latter, then tough questions must be asked of our military and political leadership, about their ability to identify the point when it became apparent that this cause was lost."

Peter Dimitroff is a security advisor to NGOs in Kandahar and has worked in the country for years. His perspective is that we have spent billions and sacrificed lives while accomplishing little or nothing of lasting value.
And as government, media and society we've failed to even count the costs or assess whether this made sense.
It's an important piece in the Times Colonist today.


Anonymous said...

Canada lost all moral authority on the world stage when we went from peacekeepers to peacemakers.

Robert Fisk has a little something you may want to read after you finish Dimitroff's piece.

leah said...

Both articles were excellent - thanks for the links.

Here are two more that give a more complete picture of what we've been fighting and dying for:

DPL said...

I recommend a book called "The unexpected War" Canada in Kandahar. By Janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang.