Welcome to PaulFranklin.ca
The official website of Paul Franklin: a father, veteran, activist, motivational speaker, and proud Canadian.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

what is next in Afghanistan?

"John Manley isn’t just telling PM S. Harper what he wants to hear, he’s telling Canadians what they need to know: Afghanistan is a worthy project that can’t be put right quickly or cheaply. To retreat before the national army is ready to replace foreign troops would plunge the country back into civil war, reopen its borders to Al Qaeda and further slow progress toward modernity."
Manley Report   2008

The best way to describe the way forward is a report that was written in 2008 when a group of politicians and senators went to Afghanistan led by John Manley MP they in the end created a report of what Canada could do in Central Asia. They saw what the Canadian Forces are doing, what the ANA, the ANP, the local and provincial government does all within the frame work of the rehabilitation of the country of Afghanistan. Their report was a clear and concise example of what we traditionally do not see in most typical Western Democracies. 
Plain information.

Here are the recommendations of the Manley report:

We believe that Canada’s role in Afghanistan should give greater emphasis to diplomacy, reconstruction and governance and that the military mission should shift increasingly towards the training of the Afghan National Security Forces.
We recommend that Canada should assert a stronger and more disciplined diplomatic position regarding Afghanistan and the regional players. Specifically, Canada, in concert with key allies, should press for:
  1. Early appointment of a high-level civilian representative of the UN Secretary-General to ensure greater coherence in the civilian and military effort in Afghanistan;
  2. Early adoption by NATO of a comprehensive political-military plan to address security concerns and imbalances, especially the need for more troops to bolster security and expedite training and equipment for the Afghan National Security Forces;
  3. Forceful representations with Afghanistan’s neighbours, in particular with Pakistan, to reduce the risks posed to regional stability and security by recent developments in that country; and
  4. Concerted efforts by the Afghan government to improve governance by tackling corruption and ensuring basic services to the Afghan people, and pursuing some degree of political reconciliation in Afghanistan.
  5. Canada should continue with its responsibility for security in Kandahar beyond February 2009, in a manner fully consistent with the UN mandate on Afghanistan, including its combat role, but with increasing emphasis on training the Afghan National Security Forces expeditiously to take lead responsibility for security in Kandahar and Afghanistan as a whole. As the Afghan National Security Forces gain capability, Canada’s combat role should be significantly reduced.
  6. This commitment is contingent on the assignment of an additional battle group (of about 1,000 soldiers) to Kandahar by NATO and/or other allies before February 2009.
  7. To better ensure the safety and effectiveness of the Canadian contingent, the Government should also secure medium helicopter lift capacity and high-performance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance before February 2009.
  8. Canada’s contribution to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan should be revamped giving higher priority than at present to direct, bilateral project assistance that addresses the immediate, practical needs of the Afghan people, especially in Kandahar province, as well as longer-term capacity- building.
  9. The Government should systematically assess the effectiveness of Canadian contributions and the extent to which the benchmarks and time lines of the Afghanistan Compact have been met. Future commitments should be based on those assessments.
  10. The Government should provide the public with franker and more frequent reporting on events in Afghanistan, offering more assessments of Canada’s role and giving greater emphasis to the diplomatic and reconstruction efforts as well as those of the military.

Now lets look at what Canada has recommended and what Canada has pledged for the mission in Afghanistan.
From the Foreign Affairs website:
The first four priorities focus primarily on Kandahar. Canada is helping the Government of Afghanistan to:
  1. maintain a more secure environment and establish law and order by building the capacity of the Afghan National Army and Police, and support complementary efforts in the areas of justice and corrections;
  2. provide jobs, education, and essential services, like water;
  3. provide humanitarian assistance to people in need, including refugees; and
  4. enhance the management and security of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
  5. build Afghan institutions that are central to our Kandahar priorities and support democratic processes such as elections; and
  6. contribute to Afghan-led political reconciliation efforts aimed at weakening the insurgency and fostering a sustainable peace.

There are some that look at the mission in Afghanistan and see a different picture... one is the NGO group OXFAM.

Many feel that Canada should walk away from the American occupation as its called and showcase Canadian ideals. 

Poverty in Afghanistan
 “What was the goal of the invasion?” Skinner asks. “Liberation of women? If that was the goal, it has failed. Build the state? A failure. But on other issues, the invasion has been very successful, and Afghans are quite perceptive of this.”  Mike Skinner, co-founder of the Afghanistan-Canadian Research Group and a researcher at the York Centre for International and Security Studies in Toronto, believes a simple question is being left out of the debate about Canada's continued military involvement in Afghanistan.

This is Peter MacKay the Minister of Defence......."There are definitely improvements, tangible improvements that we can see, that we can point to," MacKay told the CBC's James Cudmore in a year-end interview. "And yet, all of it is tenuous as far as, will it last?"  
"There is a realism there, but also an optimism that because of this progress, it will become more ingrained in the minds of Afghans that they don't want to go back to living under a terrorist regime, and they expect more of their own government," the minister said.  "And that is certainly the feeling with all the allies that we want the Afghanistan government to pick up the slack."

Karzai and Harper
By the time the sweltering Afghan heat hits Kandahar next year, the bulk of Canada's forces will have begun their shift to Kabul.  Last month, the Conservative government announced a plan to send as many as 950 trainers to Afghanistan after Canada's combat mission ends in July 2011.  This effort will assist in the formation of a professional Afghan army, and a professional police force — one capable of taking over security for Afghanistan by 2014.  "How do you quantify that?" he asked. "Millions of children now in school. Infant mortality rates coming down.  That gives them a chance.  Seeing young Afghan women now able to not just participate in democratic elections, but sit and serve in their parliament, open a business, interact in a more free and open way throughout the country."  there is progress. CBC.ca
Afghan National Police and the Canadian Forces

By the looks of it...... it seems that the government of Canada, National Defence and Foreign Affairs is doing exactly what they said they would. 

For myself I look at the original goal of the invasion of Afghanistan and see that it was to destroy the Taliban government and to destroy the safe haven that the al Queda group sought and achieved.  After years of war and the Canadian Forces being there for 10 years; we see a trickle down effect of Canadian ideals.

Peace Order and good government.
It's even written in the Manley report as the goals of the CF in Afghanistan... we may have come as invaders but in many ways we are trying to achieve something even greater.

No comments:

Post a Comment