The rethinking of Afghanistan has to be in terms of all of NATO to follow the Canadian Peacekeeping plan. A full governance policy with military support for keeping the insurgents at bay and forcing them out of the picture, this provides security for the PRTs, improves intelligence and leaves the radical Islamic Militants fragmented, leaving them about as lame as the White Supremists are here. If you think about it, there is very little difference in the mentality. That is also why our military mission must also be extended. The rest of NATO and the US only believe in siege warfare, how can they defend our government workers, civilian workers and volunteers, probably numbering near 10,000, when they don’t understand a true anti-insurgency operation.
This was originally posted as a reply to a blog here, Rethinking Afghanistan, a 6 part video blog. My reply was not posted so I figured I would fill it out and blog it myself. The trip from Kabul to Kandahar from late 2002-05, although very dangerous did demonstrate that as Peacemakers/keepers we still have the respect of those we help. The Afghan people only want their country.
The Taliban/Al’Qaeda hybrid is has only been a foreign militant organization created to fight the soviet invasion in the 80’s. The Taliban’s roots trace to the mountains and valley areas of Pakistan in the North & North West regions. Their relationship with Afghanistan is fairly complex. Prior to the Soviet invasion and involving the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Marxist-Leninist party began discrediting the Monarchy and then seized power (this took many years). There was also a political party of young Islamic Muslims. They viewed Afghanistan as a pure Islamic State under Sharian Law, like Pakistan was beginning to do. They received guidance from the Mullahs and Ayatollahs in Pakistan (the titles may not be correct).
These were only 2 of the many political parties in Afghanistan at the time (during the 70s), there was a mainstream democratic party, socialist democratic party (like our democracy), one each practicing the faith of the Shiite & Sunnah Muslims, Buddhism, etc. There were even many that remained loyal to the Monarchy. Today, the first 2 groups I mentioned set up where we are in the Republic. When the Communists took power, The Soviet Union sent troops in to support the fledgling Communist Party knowing the vast majority of Afghans would oppose them. They did, leading the resistance was the Sharian Law Muslims. Once the Soviet army dug in, it became obvious simple resistance tactics wouldn’t work. The Muslim group had become known as the Mujahadeen and called for a jihad against the Soviet aggressors. They began uniting the radical Islamic Muslims from all over the Middle East, south east Europe, Asia and Al’Qaeda from north central to north western Africa. This merger was also endorsed by the western world, which included broad spread media coverage of how beneficial it was and the specialty training of Osama Bin Laden and his inner circle (now apparently the head of the Al‘Qaeda forces) in urban guerrilla warfare. It worked. Then “we” the western world turned a blind eye to that same foreign hybrid, when it took over, forcing the Afghan people into a world of tyranny we DON’T accept. How in the heck do we call this good international leadership? We can’t!
What that 3 year trip did was prove that the Afghan people know who they are and have a vision of their future. As the Canadian led force moved south, they cleared IEDs, land mines and pushed the insurgents back, this can only be done on the ground, not with armed Preditor aircraft and strategic(?) bombings. When a tribal region was reached a team of Canadian military officials, diplomats and CIDA officials, would arrange for and get an meeting with tribal elders, the mission would lay-out their plan, listen to concerns of the tribal district and hammer out a plan in hours or mire days. The military moved through, clearing IEDs and start retraining the local militia to help protect the village and back door. When the clearing was done and the troops set post just south of village providing security, CIDA and the PRT moved in and using the tribal people, began rebuilding, from the greatest concerns first. With CIDA, were the peacekeepers mentoring the tribal militia and gather the info on insurgent supports, logging who they were and their contacts essentially silencing them and cutting off the insurgents. Sappers to capture if possible the IEDs or at least safely detonate them, clearing villages and main roadways. This would allow a reasonably safe means of beginning commerce between district tribal villages. Increasing the hope and support for a strong national government. The PRT also focused on establishing schools, public works (power, water, etc), organizing civilian workers for public works, teaching, assisting locals in getting micro-funding for businesses and allowing for open markets to return. With later funding the PRT added civilian policing (RCMP trained and mentored), this program as also available to men & women this meant training in the Law of the Land according to their constitution. This entire area was remapped and new district maps made after the US took over in 2005. They did it because of how strong the Afghan people were against the insurgency and whether it is their dependents on seige warfare tactics or inability to meet insurgent forces face to face either way they lost control of the areas we re-established by allowing Talaban operatives inside their much too large patrol zones. This was proved not once but twice in late 2005 when the main Canadian led force arrived at their objective south west of Kandahar City. First in Panjwai district the just east of Kandahar City. How Canadian mentored tribal militia lead by the ANA/ANP with Canadian rear forces as support laid waste to an insurgent attack 25 mile from Kandahar City when all the so-called experts claimed Kandahar City would fall if this scenario played out… well it did, but the insurgents never got out of the foothills. The second was when, the prison was breeched before Corrections Canada could secure it. The Canadian mentored ANA/ANP attacked the escaped insurgents (suspected), recapturing some, scattering and driving back the rest, fragmenting them into a useless position.
We, Canada, has the only true anti-insurgency force on the planet. That is why we are, as I said in the opening, respected by all those we help. Canadians have to remove the despondent attitude they have acquired and start wanting the truth of who we are.
Our nation news media outlets have been deliberately editing out of their stories what our full mission has been in Afghanistan, our National Political Parties are either putting up walls of silence, sitting on the fence, describing erroneous situations, to discredit our military (peacemakers/keepers), based on the continually pitfalls our allies in NATO and the US are running into because they seem to be at war with Afghanistan, not the insurgency. The groups linked below are working in Afghanistan or providing information about our full mission. All, I want to support but have been able to support only a few of them currently. Please check them out, they will give you a more accurate picture of the both the huge successes we have been having with helping the Afghan people and of course the problems they have been having. Then write your MP and the national networks to demand the truth and an explanation why we haven’t been given the truth of Canadians in Afghanistan.