Skimming the Leader-Post today to get my annual Craven Country Jamboree fix I found an article by Matthew Fisher buried on the back page of the Arts & Life section. It concerns Canada transferring responsibility for Kandahar City to U.S. forces after having been stationed in the city for the last four years.
Here’s how Fisher, writing for Postmedia News, concludes the article:
As Canada prepares for the first time in its history to leave a war that it has not yet finished, its influence in NATO in Afghanistan and elsewhere is expected to plummet at the very moment when the conflict here becomes the focus of a much bigger international endeavour.
Canada’s waning influence has already been felt in senior NATO staff appointments for the war and in how rarely NATO’s top commanders now mention Canada’s presence here. Until recently, NATO officials would often go out of their way to lavish praise on Canada for having held on to Kandahar almost alone against tremendous odds.
Although nobody from NATO has said so publicly here, Ottawa’s decision to quit its Afghan mission has frustrated and angered many in the alliance.
So anyone have any idea when the “war” in Afghanistan is going to finish? It’s been going on for eight years now, and given the guerilla nature of the conflict against the Taliban, it seems to be the consensus of most military analysts that the war is unwinnable. So what are we supposed to do, just keep rotating troops into the country for years and decades to come? That’s what Britain did in the mid-19th century, and the Soviet Union in the 1980s. And what good did that do?