Author Topic: USMC One-Time-Surge to Help CAN Sell AFG Mission?  (Read 1308 times)

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USMC One-Time-Surge to Help CAN Sell AFG Mission?
« on: January 16, 2008, 07:10:04 »
Spotted this intriguing tidbit in this Washington Post article (.pdf permalink) on how some observers say the 3K USMC push could help Canadian politicians make the case for a longer stay:

....When Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier visited Washington late last month, he reminded Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Canada's Afghan mandate expires in January 2009. With most of the Canadian public opposed to a continued combat role, he said, it is not certain that Ottawa can sustain it.

Bernier's message was that his minority government could make a better case at home if the United States would boost its own efforts in Afghanistan, according to Canadian and U.S. officials familiar with the conversation.

"I don't think he expected an express commitment that day that they would draw down in Iraq and buttress in Afghanistan," the Canadian official said. "But he certainly registered Canadian interest and that of the allies involved." ....

Other intriguing bits....

"We have one-tenth of the troops and we do more fighting than you do," a Canadian official said of his country's 2,500 troops in Kandahar province. "So do the Dutch." The Canadian death rate, proportional to the overall size of its force, is higher than that of U.S. troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, a Canadian government analysis concluded last year.

British officials note that the eastern region, where most U.S. forces are based, is far quieter than the Taliban-saturated center of British operations in Helmand, the country's top opium-producing province. The American rejoinder, spoken only in private with references to British operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is that superior U.S. skills have made it so.

Many Europeans believe that the United States committed attention and resources to Iraq at Afghanistan's expense. But U.S. officials say the problems of NATO countries in Afghanistan have roots in not investing sufficiently in their militaries after the Cold War. Canada, U.S. officials say, needs American military airlift for its troops in Afghanistan because it got rid of a fleet of heavy lift helicopters.

Then again, there appears to be other perceived views/reasons why the USMC is going in as well....

- edited to add last link to Gates-COIN thread -

« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 07:29:08 by milnewstbay »
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