Monday, December 27, 2010

What Good Are the Americans For?

Well, for the Canadians, their surge into Southern Afghanistan went a long way to reducing the risks faced by the Canadians.  By providing the critical mass required to be reasonably effective, the Americans allowed the Canadians to be less over-extend and more focused.  This led to less dangerous missions in distant locales, more local knowledge, and better relations with the people.  And the impact of this: less casualties.
Our fatality rate is at its lowest since we arrived in Kandahar in 2006. We had half as many fatalities in 2010 as 2006. The surge of 30,000 American troops into Kandahar allowed the Canadian Forces to concentrate on two districts, winning increasing confidence from the local population and holding ground. The result, in part, is higher reporting of IED locations by Afghans, which helped lower Canadian casualties.”  Toronto Sun
 Too bad the Canadians are getting out of Kandahar just as things are getting safer and the effort is becoming more effective.  I am still ambivalent about the likelihood of success of the larger effort, but I do think it is unfortunate that the Canadians are going to be leaving just as things are turning in a better direction and just as the mission finally is being appropriately resourced (or almost). 

The funny thing is that the Canadians stuck through hard times but will not be able to take advantage of what will be more productive times ahead.

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