Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

If only we’d trained Karzai’s assassin into ‘loyalty’

That Hamid Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali “Mr. Kandahar” Karzai, has been killed by the head of his own security forces, is one more violent expression of the single greatest Afghan challenge: getting to grips with loyalty.

Bob Rae and Stephen Harper alike maintain the naive conceit that the Afghan army is largely ineffective because they need our training. The Canadian Forces have some nifty fighting techniques that Afghans simply haven’t thought of or been able to employ. Once we show them how to shoot straight, we can leave the job of national defence to Afghans themselves.

Really? Really now.

I’ve posted this way again and again, but to repeat, Afghanistan is a mercenary landscape. Consolidating loyalties and lasting allegiances in the country is, at once, the greatest challenge to Afghan peace, and also the area in which international forces have the least sway and the least understanding. The suggestion that Karzai’s assassin, Sardar Mohammed, could have been trained out of his true allegiance by the Dutch and Canadians etc. would be laughable, if lives were not at stake.

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Filed under: Canada, International, Politics, , , , , , ,

The ‘cautious nod’ of leadership

Showing up a bit late to the Grand Lodge of the Bleeding Obvious, PM Stephen Harper has given what the G&M calls a cautious nod to the Afghan government entering into some form of negotiation with Taliban forces to end the decade-old anarchic bloodbath over which we help to preside.

Oh, they’ll be relieved.

Even a cautious nod is coming some distance towards acknowledging reality. But is being a latecomer to reality anything we should be proud of? There is no longer any obvious foreign policymaker behind which Harper can hide anymore, thus he’s been dragged kicking and screaming (or cautiously nodding) into the daylight of the contemporary global consensus and the full toll of a decade of fruitless warfare. That’s the style of leadership that got us ignored at the UN last week.

Maybe Taliban Jack ought to have a crack at foreign policy after all?

Filed under: Canada, International, Politics, , , ,

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