Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier contradicted all publicly available assessments of security in southern Afghanistan Sunday with a bold claim that insurgent attacks have decreased in Kandahar, leaving the province more secure for humanitarian work.
"The territory is more secure now today, here in Kandahar than it was a year ago," Mr. Bernier said. "Look just a year ago what happened, there were many attacks, and the attacks have diminished."
Okay, so a newly minted Foreign Affairs minister comes out and says something that blatantly contradicts the available evidence and analysis.
Meanwhile, more thoughtful analysis of the situation done by the UN tells us:
"The security situation in Afghanistan is assessed by most analysts as having deteriorated at a constant rate through 2007," said a paper by the UN Department of Safety and Security in August. That report showed violent incidents increased almost 25 per cent this year, although the authors noted that the figure may be conservative.
... and, just to make the point even more glaring:
Kandahar was among only three provinces listed in the United Nations report as places where the security situation has fallen into its worst category — "Extreme Risk/Hostile Environment" — across most of the province. This rating causes less accessibility to UN programs, the report notes.
These statistics fit with those collected by other analysts. The respected security firm Vigilant Strategic Services Afghanistan found that Kandahar suffered more anti-government attacks than any other province, in a tally of incidents from the beginning of the year to Sept. 30.
So...not only is Kandahar - where Canadian troops are working - descending into the pit of chaos, we also note that Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs is contradicting every serious analysis of the situation.
Who are you going to believe - a minister who was obviously sent over to minimize whatever damage Coderre might do to Harper's lying BS on Afghanistan, or the world's analysts who seem to be amazingly unified in their analysis of the situation.