Make no mistake about this. The miserable performance we achieved in Kandahar wasn't the fault of the rank and file troops Canada deployed. They did a terrific job only the odds were stacked against them from the start by incompetent political and military leadership at home. And it's those same incompetents who now are so keen to simply turn the page and jump into the next shooting war.
We wasted a lot of lives in Afghanistan, far too many for what little we accomplished. Lives lost, lives broken, in Afghanistan and across Canada. Yet not one Canadian general, not one cabinet minister nor, it goes without saying, our formerly gung-ho prime minister has answered for this debacle. They engineered the fiasco and, by all indications, they're keen as hell to engineer the next one too. Not now, not yet.
As the linked article
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk authorized the establishment of the operational support hubs in up to seven locations around the world on May 13, 2010.
A directive signed by Natynczyk and obtained by Postmedia News says the initiative was launched to improve the Canadian Forces' "ability to project combat power/security assistance and Canadian influence rapidly and flexibly anywhere in the world."
It adds that the ability to deploy and sustain combat forces is not only contingent on strong logistical networks, but is also "an essential instrument of national power and should continue to be exploited to attain national objectives."
Excuse me but since when does Canada need "to project combat power ...rapidly and flexibly anywhere in the world"? How does this help us "attain national objectives"? For Christ's sake, Walt, what national objectives do we have in Southeast Asia or East Africa? And how will you, of all people, do the job?
Remember, General Walt, we had "national objectives" for your combat gig in Kandahar. They were clearly, boisterously stated, proclaimed even, shouted from the ramparts at the outset. Need to refresh your memory, Walt? You were to crush the Taliban and establish a Western democracy that would ensure civil and human rights for the Afghan people, especially Afghan women. Those were the national objectives you were given and said you would accomplish. And on those scores you failed, miserably.
For a host of what should have been obvious reasons, you and your peckerheaded political boss failed - your country, your soldiers and Afghanistan. And so you began to water down your objectives to cloak your failure and, aided by a naive and complicit media, proclaimed success where no such thing existed.
Jesus, Walt. You and your predecessor Hillier took on the responsibility for a major counter-insurgency campaign in the nastiest province in Afghanistan, Kandahar. On most days you were barely able to keep between 600 and 800 combat troops in the field even though counterinsurgency doctrine prescribes anywhere between 15,000 to 25,000 for that job in a territory with the population of Kandahar (over 900,000). The Americans were shocked to discover that you weren't even securing the provincial capital, Kandahar city. And you want to claim success and talk about deploying Canadian combat forces "anywhere in the world"? By the way, Walt, you're not fooling the Americans or the Brits. Your Big Brothers have your numbers and they're giving you a D minus at best.
Besides, Walt, if Canadian soldiers are getting into a shooting war anywhere it will be as a contingent in America's Foreign Legion. It's Washington's "national objectives" that will matter, not ours. Your actual combat capability, as demonstrated in Afghanistan, is so goddamned miniscule that you can't operate independently any distance from home. You can't "project combat power" anywhere without first getting your marching orders from Washington. It's the Pentagon that projects combat power, not Ottawa, not NDHQ.
This shit has gone to your head, Walt. You've got a bad case of megalomania. As a parting gift I'd like to pass along a bit of wisdom from a commander long departed, one who knew the difference between victory in battle and defeat, Oliver Cromwell, who said, “you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”