The best laid plans……

(Canscene) — NATO’s plans for Afghanistan call for no less than a compete defeat of the Taliban, just like what the Americans aimed for in Viet Nam and Iraq. We all know what happened in Viet Nam and while we did achieve complete victory of sorts in Iraq, it has by no means put an end to insurgency resulting in violence and loss of life.

Roland Paris, director of the Centre for international Studies at the University of Ottawa, is highly critical of what’s transpiring in Afghanistan . In an article he calls Washington’s 2002 action an effort to “build peace on he cheap”. (I am tempted to ask, could this be because George W. Bush already had his sights fixed on Iraq?)

Poppy fields in Afghanistan

Today, says Paris, the opium trade is still flourishing, insurgency is on the rise and support for the elected Karzai government is dwindling. Paris even suggests we may have to settle with less hardline elements in the Taliban since, given current trends, complete defeat seems impossible.That’s the prospect Canadian politicians ought to be facing instead of pandering to the egos of NATO generals and debating whether to pull out of Kandahar next year, or in 2011 or whenever.

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