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Canada pulls all but 1,000 troops from Afghanistan





LittleBlackKitten
The WAR is over. The peace-keeping is not. What's your stance on this decision?
watersoul
The peace hasn't been kept there anyway, enough of my own personal friends (in active service) have shared enough stories to convince me of that (forget about what I see on the news), and 1000 or 2922 Canadian troops aren't going to affect the overall situation too much.
But as long as 10% of our entire combat ready UK soldiers are still out there I'm more concerned about them to be honest.
No outside force has ever truly "won" in Afghan, and I doubt they ever will.

*edit*
Source of numbers for UK:
http://www.isaf.nato.int/troop-numbers-and-contributions/united-kingdom/index.php

Canadian numbers (currently)
http://www.isaf.nato.int/troop-numbers-and-contributions/canada/index.php

All other countries...
http://www.isaf.nato.int/troop-numbers-and-contributions/index.php

...just wondering what your stance is LBK?
deanhills
I find it unfair to put all of the burden of the "peace keeping" force in Afghanistan on the US and countries like the UK only. Of course it is a double whammy. The countries who have troops in Afghanistan are doing something good, that is costing them a lot of money, as well as have to take a lot of flak from their own citizens for having forces in Afghanistan. Worst would be if the US should pull its forces from Afghanistan. If a country like Canada can argue in favour of pulling its troops, the US by rights should also be able to pull its troops. Hopefully Canada has conferred with the US on this, and the US is happy they are doing it. If not, then obviously there will be some comeback in negative terms from the US to Canada, when Canada will have a need of US support in future. Such as having a presence on the Security Council.
Bluedoll
Stance? I am so fortunate that I do not have to make these kinds of decisions.
If I have to stand, it will beside the mothers and fathers of those fallen.
Just wrote a simple true story for anyone who wishes to read.

http://www.frihost.com/users/Bluedoll/blog/vp-120581.html
LittleBlackKitten
@ Watersoul
My views are this:

I am neutral on the war effort. It is about power and oil for the most part, as well as that small threat from our end, and control and westernization on theirs.

There is no real fix for the problem this way. Shooting up terrorists only propagates more. Terrorists and extremists are everywhere; it's like termites in the wood of your home. They're just doing what comes naturally. So, the fix in MY mind is to pull out 1,000,000 innocent non-terrorist people of all jobs, doctors, architects, lawyers, politicians, policemen, everything they will need, make them pass a psych test, and, blow the whole area up. Nuke it. Let the fallout settle enough to handle life, and give them their country back, and tell them to never do it again; kind of like rebuilding your termite-infested home.

I know that's extreme, and few will agree with me. That's just fine by me. Very Happy
watersoul
LittleBlackKitten wrote:

I am neutral on the war effort. It is about power and oil for the most part


I pretty much agree there.
For example, I seriously doubt the UK would have made the efforts we did in the 1982 Falklands conflict with Argentina if the territorial claims to the area around were not so potentially important.
3000 people on a few rocks in the South Atlantic are less important to governments than the territory they represent. As it happens, oil & gas fields have been recently discovered http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8520038.stm and it only helps my cynical mind to be drawn toward the perhaps deeper issues of sovereignty on the islands.

My own older brother fought there and even he at the time was surprised that our country sent so many troops and lost so many lives over a few sheep farmers in the middle of nowhere.
War has, and is always ultimately about resources, or the land that claims the resource. I won't be surprised when a conflict arises over water in the future - but it will certainly be "dressed up" as a war on terror or some other "nasty" group/national leader we'll all be taught to despise first.
deanhills
OK. Then probably it will be easier to battle those terrorists in the UK, the US and Canada? Because was that not a big part of the reason why the US went to Afghanistan? So that it could take the battle with the terrorists out of the US and fight them near their "hub" instead? Like having a battle with ants at home, and getting rid of them at the source, instead of in the kitchen only. There are also other aspects to consider, such as balance of power in that region. Never good for countries like Russia or China or Iran to have too much power and control over oil sources, as well as nuclear capability, and the US position in Afghanistan, is at least a buffer to a certain extent.

I think if it had been as simple as just packing up and leaving, the US may never have positioned itself in Afghanistan. It is a strategic position that does benefit all of those from countries who stand for freedom in the world.
Bikerman
Are the US and UK safer because of the war in Afghanistan?
I find it difficult to believe that is the case. I can't speak about the US, but as far as the UK is concerned, the claim that the war in Afghanistan has made us safer sounds like a sick joke.
We now have a whole generation of radicalised Muslim youths. The 7/7 bombing in London was a direct result of the war - the suicide videos left by the bombers make that explicitly clear. The idea that the war in Afghanistan has somehow contained Al-Queda in one place is clearly a nonsense. Al-Queda has massively increased recruitment over the last decade - and the other catastrophic war - Iraq - was a major boost to recruitment.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3756650.stm
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Are the US and UK safer because of the war in Afghanistan?
I find it difficult to believe that is the case. I can't speak about the US, but as far as the UK is concerned, the claim that the war in Afghanistan has made us safer sounds like a sick joke.
We now have a whole generation of radicalised Muslim youths. The 7/7 bombing in London was a direct result of the war - the suicide videos left by the bombers make that explicitly clear. The idea that the war in Afghanistan has somehow contained Al-Queda in one place is clearly a nonsense. Al-Queda has massively increased recruitment over the last decade - and the other catastrophic war - Iraq - was a major boost to recruitment.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3756650.stm
Good point. But I'm certain that it could have been much worse than the above, if there had not been a presence in Afghanistan. I would imagine the closer to the source, the more intelligence there would be available as well for pending terror attacks in the West. The foothold in Afghanistan must also help with intelligence gathering with regard to the neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, that seems to be harbouring terrorist cells as well.
LittleBlackKitten
Safe? No, we're not safe. Far from it. Safety after a war is a fallacy - one which simply was caused, basically, over oil and propaganda. If anything, war has made us LESS safe.
deanhills
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Safe? No, we're not safe. Far from it. Safety after a war is a fallacy - one which simply was caused, basically, over oil and propaganda. If anything, war has made us LESS safe.
Good point. The more the one side tries to get safe, the more sophisticated the other side gets on the terror side of things. It would be less safe, but could have been even less safe, if there had not been a buffer (war on terrorism) set on the Western side. Especially the United States and the UK and all of their friends, including now India apparently as well, are the enemies of most terrorists at a very advanced and sophisticated level. Passionately so. If that had not been the case, Obama would certainly have withdrawn the US troops in Afghanistan ages ago. It would have been politically advantageous for him to do so, but there must be facts at his disposal that made him order additional troops. Instead of withdrawing troops.
LittleBlackKitten
If they want to terrorise, the religious nuts and extremists over there aren't going to stop just because we're over there blowing the hell out of them. If anything, it's going to make their aggression WORSE.

Its like a nest of bees on the side of your house. Yeah it's annoying and you're going to get stung; but toss pebbles at that nest, or try and take it down, you're pissing off the lot of them....
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Good point. But I'm certain that it could have been much worse than the above, if there had not been a presence in Afghanistan. I would imagine the closer to the source, the more intelligence there would be available as well for pending terror attacks in the West. The foothold in Afghanistan must also help with intelligence gathering with regard to the neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, that seems to be harbouring terrorist cells as well.
Al-Queda were a tiny bunch of terrorists - chiefly drawn from the US backed and funded Mujahideen who were fighting the USSR in Afghanistan.
After 9/11 the US had two viable options.
1) Invade Afghanistan with sufficient troop numbers to do a thorough job.
2) Treat it as a criminal matter and go after the bombers through normal channels, as well as covert 'black-ops' channels.
The US did neither. It relied on air strikes and eventually went in with far too few troops.
It has now passed into general consciousness that the invasion of Afghanistan was in direct response to the 9/11 bombings. That is untrue - the US were planning to invade Afghanistan BEFORE 9/11.
Quote:
Richard A. Clarke, chair of the Counter-Terrorism Security Group under the Clinton administration, and later an official in the Bush administration, allegedly presented a plan to incoming Bush administration official Condoleezza Rice in January 2001 that involved covert action in Afghanistan to deny al Qaeda a safe haven there. The plan allegedly involved covert support for the Northern Alliance, air strikes, and the introduction of U.S. special operations forces into Afghanistan.[52]

One day before the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Bush administration agreed on a plan to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by force if it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_%282001%E2%80%93present%29

If the US had not invaded I doubt that Al-Queda would have gained anything like the support or publicity it has done and there is no doubt in my mind that the situation would have been far less dangerous now. What actually happened is that the US failed miserably - their stated aim was to wipe out Al-Queda and kill OBL - they did neither. OBL was able to present it as a victory and this gained him massive credibility amongst those already unsympathetic to the West.
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