Sunday, February 03, 2008

AFGHANISTAN<>VIET NAM - PAKISTAN<>CAMBODIA?


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Emacs!


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PARLIAMENT FIDDLES WHILE PRESSURES BUILD

Discussion and debate in Parliament, in the media, on blogs and wherever else such may be taking place in Canada is focused on where to detainees are at and whether  the 1 000 additional troops in Kandahar Province and helicopters to lessen Canadian Forces travel on land deemed necessary for continuing the Mission will be met.

"February 2nd's Sudbury Star editorial, "Canada must press for student's release" http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=885028 ends with this paragraph: "Canadian troops are not simply fighting for democracy - they are fighting for a democracy that respects human rights. Canada must vigorously press the case to free Kaambakhsh, else what are our troops really fighting for?"

A petition at http://www.independent.co.uk/petition is pressing the British government "to put all possible pressure on the Afghan government to prevent the execution of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh".  Should the UK Foreign Office respond and the Canadian and American Governments be put under similar pressure Afghan President Hamid Karzai may well be placed in a most difficult position: choosing between the will of his external and internal allies.
 
On February 2nd Canadian Maj.-Gen. Marc Lessard assumed command of N.A.T.O. FORCES in the Regional Command South. he Maj-Gen. is quoted as saying
" 'The truth is there has been a 50 per cent increase in incidents,' " but that " ' In every occasion the Taliban were blocked, they didn't achieve any real success. So, what we are doing? We blocked in 2007. In 2008, we are going on the offensive' " http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080202/cdn_isaf_080202/20080202?hub=Canada

Positive words, words however spoken to a Canadian public in largest measure unaware of reports in media outside Canada of : what has taken place,the extension of insurgent control of countryside near Kabul; activities in progress, cutting allied supply lines coming through Pakistan and concentrating forces for a spring offensive; and the threat of United States forces taking actions having the probability of widening the war and further destablizing into Pakistan, overt rather than covert attacks into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federally_Administered_Tribal_Areas .

Portions of "Pakistan, Cambodia ... it's all the same to U.S." http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Margolis_Eric/2008/02/03/4809821-sun.php ",  provide an introduction to the challenges of which our Parliamentarians are either unaware or choosing not to bring before Canadians.

Bolded articles providing authentication of the other problems cited above follow immediately after the introduction, followed in turn by a wide rage of articles.

Taken together the articles offer a comprehensive view far beyond what is currently emanating from Ottawa.

Joe Hueglin
 
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Pakistan, Cambodia ... it's all the same to U.S.

U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan already are over stretched and barely able to defend their own vulnerable supply lines. Incursions into Pakistan will pit U.S. -- and perhaps Canadian -- forces against the same warlike Pashtun tribesmen they cannot defeat in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's army, which so far has been "rented" by billions in payments from Washington to fight the Taliban and its allies, is showing increased reluctance to wage war on its own people. The entry of U.S. troops into Pakistan could trigger a violent reaction from Pakistan's military.

This may include attacks on vital bases and convoys supplying U.S. forces and NATO in Afghanistan. Nationalist elements in the armed forces are complaining bitterly of becoming "sepoys", as the British Raj termed its native troops, in Washington's fight against violent anti-western groups. Pakistani Pashtun, who are prominent in the military and intelligence services, can be counted on to oppose any U.S. action against their fellow Pashtuns in FATA.

Once U.S. forces enter Pakistan, there will be no easy exit. The war-loving Pashtun will never stop fighting, either in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Given Washington's growing entente with India, Pakistan's military will very likely view U.S. forces operating in their nation as foes, not friends.

Osama bin Laden has repeatedly stated his hope that the U.S. will get sucked into a ruinous, debilitating conflict in Pakistan.

Secretary Gates may be taking the first step.
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Margolis_Eric/2008/02/03/4809821-sun.php


Pakistan: US accused of violating borders in al-Qaeda killing
Rawalpindi, 1 Feb. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad
http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=1.0.1834960690

Taliban take a hit, but the fight goes on
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JB02Df03.html

Why the Afghan Taleban feel confident
By David Loyn
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7222194.stm


Canadian takes command of 12,000 NATO troops
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080202/cdn_isaf_080202/20080202?hub=Canada

2009 pullout unrealistic, Hillier says
'If you're in Kandahar, you're going to be in combat'
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=280559

Get tough on Taliban
Ignatieff urges international intensity
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2008/02/02/4809100-sun.html

Tories accused of torture cover-up
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/299785

Afghan reality emerges from fog of cheap politics: What now?
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1035666.html

By not levelling with us, PM erodes case for Afghan mission
http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/299786

Dion is consistently unrealistic
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2008/02/01/ivison-dion-is-consistently-unrealistic.aspx

Top soldier praises Kandahar governor
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080202.wafghan-governor0201/BNStory/Afghanistan/home

Kandahar governor denies torture allegations
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080202/gov_torture_080202/20080202?hub=World

Canada's new policy deprives an organization access to Afghan detainees
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Finfo.branchez-vous.com%2FNationales%2F080201%2FN0201132AU.html&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

U.S. 'surge' could sweep Canada out of Afghanistan
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=c0a3d118-c17e-4959-906c-afc76e508eec

Afghan picture confusing, U.S. Marines' chief says
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=7c013859-b38f-4ceb-895a-22912a01064b

Operations in South Waziristan halted for peace talks
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/02/operations_in_south.php

Afghan Prison Blues
Newsweek (02/02/2008)
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AdvocacyGroup Launches Major Initiatives at Helm of U.S.Policy Reassessment towards Afghanistan
The Afghanistan Advocacy Group, Press Release (02/02/2008)
[]
Afghan Journalist's Death Sentence "Political"
IWPR (02/02/2008)
[]
A Pair of Allies, Self-Destructing
The Washington Post (02/02/2008)
[]
US fights to rescue Afghanistan mission
AFP (02/02/2008)
[]
Afghan picture confusing, US Marines' chief says
Reuters (02/02/2008)
[]
Ex-Taliban Commander Lectures Mullah Omar About Koran
RFE/RL (02/01/2008)
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Senators challenge White House approach on Afghanistan
Christian Science Monitor (02/01/2008)
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Afghan senate's blasphemy retreat
BBC (02/01/2008)
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Journalism Is Not a Capital Crime
The Wall Street Journal (02/01/2008)
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US Envoy: Iran Gained From US Invasions
The Associated Press (02/01/2008)
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Protesters in Kabul Call for Release of Detained Afghan Journalist
VOA (02/01/2008)
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Afghan Peace Only Possible With More Foreign Aid
Deutsche Welle (02/01/2008)
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Is the U.S. Failing in Afghanistan?
Time.com (02/01/2008)
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Germany rejects troop request for southern Afghanistan
AFP (02/01/2008)
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Afghan protest: 'He just shared an article with friends. What's the problem?'
Belfast Telegraph (02/01/2008)
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Three Independent Reports Conclude Efforts in Afghanistan are Failing and Call for Urgent Action
The Huffington Post (02/01/2008)
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New bid to control Pakistan's tribal belt
The Christian Science Monitor (02/01/2008)
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Former Afghan minister worried mission not succeeding in public support
The Canadian Press (02/01/2008)
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Taliban shifts tactics in Afghanistan
Los Angeles Times (02/01/2008)
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Mission creep in Afghanistan
Asia Times (02/01/2008)
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In the dark
The Economist (02/01/2008)
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NATO winning battles, losing Afghanistan
Asia Times (02/01/2008)
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Why the Afghan Taleban feel confident
BBC (02/01/2008)
[]
US concerned international community may abandon Afghanistan
AFP (01/31/2008)
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Afghan chief doubts more troops needed
AAP (01/31/2008)
[]
Going to Afghanistan - why do I do it
The Frontline Club (01/31/2008)

Complete coverage of the Afghanistan mission
NATIONAL POST http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/afghanistan/index.html

GLOBE and MAIL http://www.theglobeandmail.com/afghanistan

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