Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Harper looses his war

According to this Globe article the US has now set up camp next the Canadian forces. So much for Steve having his own war.

This move in support of Harpers demands at the last NATO meeting is considered as the Americanization of the Afghanistan war.

Maybe that should be the re-Americanization, since they sort of took off a while ago to spread democracy throughout the middle east.
But this new U.S. contribution is accompanied by a push to "Americanize" the 40-nation NATO mission, especially in the British-Canadian Southern Command. General Dan McNeill, the U.S. Army officer who currently commands the 40-nation NATO coalition fighting in Afghanistan, said in an interview that he hopes Canada and other nations will adopt U.S.-style tactics and doctrines, including lengthier deployments for soldiers, harder-line opium-poppy-eradication strategies and the use of military forces in reconstruction and humanitarian work. Canadian and British senior officers, in interviews yesterday, said the marines are a welcome relief to their faltering missions. But they expressed reservations about the American commanders' efforts to get their forces to adopt U.S. approaches.
However, there seems to be some concern about the differences in dealing with the insurgency:
But the arrival of the U.S. Marines at Kandahar Air Field has caused some anxiety among the Canadians. Other countries have already committed troops under Canadian leadership in the province - Nepalese Gurkhas, Portuguese soldiers, and a British parachute regiment - but it's not clear how much guidance the Canadians will be able to give the American newcomers.
My guess would be little to none on the guidance issue.

The first 1,000 marines are going to Helmand, the neighbouring province and as one unnamed, cocky Canadian officer is quoted "It's a good thing they're going to Helmand first," a Canadian official said. "They can do their learning over there, make their mistakes over there.".

It is nice to see the Americans sending in the marines, but I would strongly suggest, with them stationed that close, that our troops watch their backs or at least let the Americans know when they are practicing at night.

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