Where to and what now?


Postmedia questions where Canadian soldiers will end up stationed after July 2011.

While Harper dithered for months before doing his volte-face, the Europeans took all the best (read: easy) training spots in Kabul or places nearby. As Canada is insisting that most of its trainers will be in or near the capital, which is already awash with trainers from other countries, there is immense interest in what specific training tasks Canada is to be assigned by NATO and how its trainers will be shoehorned into already-crowded bases in the capital.

The Globe says 2011 will also bring a reduction in aid and civilian officials.


Where to and what now?

  1. The most crucial training need is in the area of literacy.

    Which, of course, is being done by, ah, no-one.

    Instead, we're teaching (orally) new ways to conduct warfare in a country plagued by, ah, warfare.

    Great plan. It's all coming together for sure.

  2. This is all fluff. Canada will be based in Kandahar along with the U.S. The troop size will be cut in half but they will be doing the same things. Besides, NATO will be in Afghanistan forever.

  3. "Prior to the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban, virtually no girls were enrolled in school. Today, a record 2.5 million girls are enrolled in grades first through 12th, according to UNICEF. That's up from 839,000 in 2002." http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/afghanistan/20

    The Taliban keep attacking schools, particularly girl's schools. You could look it up. It's really not as simple as "teaching literacy instead of warfare".

  4. So, it that why were are fighting in Afghanistan – to increase gender equality to education?

    While I may agree with the importance of that, it is pretty far removed from the original reason that we committed troops.

    Defeat the Taliban – capture and punish Bin Laden for what he did on 911.

  5. You know, I was going to disagree, and point out how emphatic the PM and several ministers have been on this point, but then it occurred to me how emphatic they all were that the troops were coming home in 2011.

  6. So, it that why were are fighting in Afghanistan – to increase gender equality to education?
    That's CLEARLY not what Crit was saying at all. He was simply debunking the baseless idea that if only more Afghans could read, the country would have peace.

    But essentially I agree that literacy training for Afghans should be at the bottom of our list of priorities there.

  7. I'm curious, how would literacy training improve the security situation in Afghanistan? A book will provide zero protection when an IED goes off in your vicinity.

  8. I disagree, education is key to success here too, otherwise they will still be stock with a very old mentality and it will be a very vicious circle of never ending conflict!

  9. "Furthermore, because the Armed Forces were ordered by the Prime Minister's Office to not even make routine contingency plans for a training mission — and still do not have a clear idea what they are being asked to do — everything must now be quickly sorted out on the fly"

    Yup, team competent is leading in Ottawa now all right. Yeah yeah, i know it's a minority govt and Harper's hands are tied by the need to play wedgie with the other parties…i'm sure that'll be a comfort to the gus who have to organize all this – and find a new staging post. It's almost like old times when Martin ran the show…Mr Dithers returns.

  10. In the long run, yes. But as we've seen over the last ten years, very little progress can be made without first improving the security situation.

  11. Actually, I believe he was debunking the baseless idea that no one is doing literacy training in Afghanistan by pointing out that millions more Afghans are getting literacy training than were getting said training before we went there.

  12. Also the "tied hands/wedge politics" line isn't even really a good excuse given that the Liberals adopted this policy months and months ago (over a year ago I believe). There was nothing preventing Harper from adopting the Liberal position long before he did.

  13. Teaching girls should be part of a global strategy of education generally.

    A Trillion+ war to school girls in one place is insanity.

    We could be reducing student fees here, on the money we are going to pump into 'training' camps until 2014 (-15? -16?…), training Taliban moles for future action.