Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Smaller You Are

The less influence you have.  So the Canadians at Camp Nathan Smith, site of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team [PRT], have lost control over the TVs, which now show less hockey and more baseball, basketball and football. This is a natural evolution, as influence on the ground is tied to two things--size and willingness to do stuff.  Canada has had more influence in Afghanistan than Germany or Italy with a smaller force because it was more willing to do the hard work and go to the dangerous places (fewer caveats). 

But that influence is coming to an end with 2011 in sight and with the Americans surging into the South.  The Canadians have been just as willing to get into the fight as the Americans but now they are dwarfed.  Not just dwarfed but on their way out.  As a result, the balance of authority has tipped in Kandahar, as we knew it would.  The Canadians cannot really complain much, as this has been the choice of their politicians. Plus, despite some modest frictions, the US and Canadian militaries get along pretty well, perhaps even better than the Army/Marine comparison used by one of the American officers in the article

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