Thursday, January 25, 2007

MacKay Wants NATO to Guard Border

Foreign Affairs minister Peter MacKay wants our NATO allies to send help to guard Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.

Even if he gets a few thousand extra hands, they probably won't arrive in time to make any difference to the insurgent's spring offensive. In any event, NATO forces in Afghanistan are too few to tackle the Herculean job of guarding the border with Pakistan.

The rugged border region is all but impossible to control. The Soviets tried it when they had a force of more than 100,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Infiltrators had to dodge infrequent air strikes and other minor irritants but the border remained open for business.

The only nation with enough troops to make a serious effort at this is Pakistan and they're not about to go beyond some fencing and minefields.

MacKay's instincts are good, he sees the real problem, but his chances of coming up with an effective response are almost nil.

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