More bullshit from yet another Canadian general, this time Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard.
According to the head of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, we still have the ability to get the upper hand on the Taliban in southern Afghanistan before we fold our tents in 2011.
Say what? How do you get the upper hand on insurgents when for them merely to survive is to win? Does Commandant Lessard (oh, sorry - that was the character from the Police Academy movies) believe we're going to wipe them out by then? Hardly.
Lessard's optimism was slightly conditional. He added that truly reaching a turning point now hinges on Afghan leadership, civilian and military. You mean that's all that stands between victory over the insurgents and utter failure - the Karzai government and Afghanistan's wobbly military? Well that's certainly a piece of cake for one side, just maybe not our side.
According to a map prepared by ISAF just two months ago there's not a single district, not one, that can be considered to actually support the Karzai government although there are a few that are rated as 'somewhat sympathetic' to Kabul. Even by ISAF's assessment, however, there are several districts that are Taliban supporters and many more sympathetic to the insurgency while many more districts, including those most hotly contested by Western forces, are labelled "neutral."
I don't know, maybe Lessard hasn't seen the map. As for the Afghan's leading the military effort, the Toronto Star had this observation:
U.S. officers on the ground, meanwhile, told Reuters this week that a shortage of effective Afghan military leaders recently forced the cancellation of a major helicopter assault involving hundreds of American and Afghan troops. The operation, due to take place in March and repeatedly postponed, was cancelled outright last week.
“It wasn’t Afghan enough … approval was denied,” a U.S. Army officer with knowledge of the plans told Reuters. “The implication is that Afghans are in the lead. The bottom line is we’re nowhere near the stage where they can be in the lead.”