Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just An Idea - Stand'em Up Over Here

The familiar refrain is "when they stand up, we'll stand down" which means our troops will leave Afghanistan when the Afghan army is able to take their place. Fair enough. Why, then, don't we put our money where our cliched mouth is?

During WWII, Canada hosted the BCATP or British Commonwealth Air Training Plan where many thousands of young men from the Commonwealth and occupied Europe were brought to Canada to learn to become combat fliers. It was a fabulous success. Canada was away from the fighting and a great place to teach young men the trade of war.

Why not do the same thing for the Afghan army? Gear up a training programme that could induct, say, a thousand at a time. Bring recruits over here, properly train and equip them (NATO members who shun the fighting could at least pay for their equipment and training) and send them back, already "stood up" and able to begin securing their own country.

Three months of basic, three months of advanced training. 2,000 Afghans at any given time. Four thousand fully trained, properly equipped soldiers returned to Afghanistan every year. We'd more than replace our own people in the first year alone.

It may sound like a dumb idea but I think it beats hell out of treading water over there.

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