Operation Enduring Freedom: Afghanistan

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piston
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Operation Enduring Freedom: Afghanistan

Post by piston » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:38 pm

Much was said in this pub, several months ago, against Canada as a poor NATO ally, as a country of "nannies," as a "mouse" without a spine, and other similar ridiculous remarks to the effect that Canada is not an economic power-- it's just "nothing." Suddenly, the notion that U.S. leaders may have acted without sufficient international support and rather blindly, some four years ago, is beginning to sink in as a significant number of Americans applaud warmly a presidential candidate who proudly claims to have stood against the war in Iraq. Meanwhile, Canada, in Afghanistan, has lost more young men and women on a per capita basis than the USA and all of its "reliable" allies.
http://icasualties.org/oef/
One wonders how it is, in a country which stands as the greatest symbol of democracy, that individuals expect non-nationals to immediately conform, in heart and mind, with U.S. foreign intervention seemingly without following a course in accordance with their own democratic institutions. All too often, U.S. democracy is only valid for Americans and should not be respected elsewhere.
Well, I remind you that the neighbors to the north who were so vociferously denounced not too long ago have done two things that not a single advocate of democracy can criticize: 1. they have objected to military intervention in Iraq and majoritarily held to that decision even when only a tiny minority of US politicians had to courage to do so; 2. they have been the USA's most reliable NATO ally in Afghanistan because Canadians committed to this organization a long time ago and they are, have been, and will continue to be trustworthy allies. Many countries joined the international "coalition" in Iraq for purely opportunistic reasons. The fact that Canada did not perfectly exemplifies that it is a democracy, just like the U.S. of A.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:40 pm

I've never viewed Canada as a poor ally. It is a country rich in values and steeped in honorable relations with other nations.
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Corlyss_D
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Re: Operation Enduring Freedom: Afghanistan

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:18 am

piston wrote:Suddenly, the notion that U.S. leaders may have acted without sufficient international support and rather blindly, some four years ago, is beginning to sink in as a significant number of Americans applaud warmly a presidential candidate who proudly claims to have stood against the war in Iraq.
Oh, baloney, Piston. Your memory is somewhat 20/20 hindsight and highly convenient. Reminds me of the observation that if all the people that claimed to have voted for John Kennedy after he was killed had actually voted for him, he would have won by a landslide.

Our neighbors to the north flatter themselves when they claim, without serious justification, to be our "best friend and ally." They are basically North American Europeans and have the same allergy to military action of any kind that the Europeans pride themselves on.
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piston
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NATO alliance tested in Afghanistan

Post by piston » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:24 pm

From today's Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Bush exhorts NATO to send more troops to Afghanistan
JENNIFER LOVEN
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. President George W. Bush chided NATO nations on Thursday that have hesitated to send additional troops to Afghanistan or allow their soldiers already there to fight in the violent south and under other dangerous circumstances.
“When our commanders on the ground say to our respective countries ‘We need additional help,' our NATO countries must provide it,” Mr. Bush said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. “As well, allies must lift restrictions on the forces they do provide so NATO commanders have the flexibility they need to defeat the enemy wherever the enemy may make its stand.”
Mr. Bush said that listening to his request is not only an obligation nations make as part of NATO, but is also crucial to their own security.
“The alliance was founded on this principle: An attack on one is an attack on all. That principle holds true whether the attack is on the home soil of a NATO nation or on allied forces deployed on a NATO mission abroad,” he said. “By standing together in Afghanistan, NATO forces protect their own people.”
The imbalance in Afghanistan has become a sore point among allies.
Troops from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have been doing most of the fighting and leaders of those countries have been lobbying the other 22 allied countries to do more. Countries such as Germany, for instance, do not allow their forces to deploy to the heart of the Taliban insurgency in the south and east.

Fighting in Afghanistan the past year was the bloodiest since the U.S.-led war started in 2001 and toppled the Taliban regime. Commanders anticipate a renewed offensive this spring by Taliban fighters trying to stage a comeback and topple the elected government in Kabul.
Several countries have offered recently to provide additional support to the 35,500-strong NATO force, but it remains to be seen whether coalition commanders will get the troops, equipment and rules of engagement they say they need.
Mr. Bush said the need is great as spring comes, bringing an expected new offensive by the Taliban.
“The snow is going to melt in the Hindu Kush mountains, and when it does we can expect fierce fighting to continue,” he said. “The Taliban and al-Qaeda are preparing to launch new attacks. Our strategy is not to be on the defence but to go on the offence. This spring, there's going to be a new offensive in Afghanistan and it's going to be a NATO offensive. And that's part of our strategy – relentless in our pressure. We will not give in.”
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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