Saturday, March 15, 2014

Predictable

In the department of "no big surprise here", we have The Taliban mocking the departure of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

The Taliban's information arm issued a statement Thursday to followers in Kandahar congratulating its fighters in the rural districts of Panjwaii, Zharey, Dand, Maiwand and Shah Wali Kot claiming that Canada has been defeated and has now fled the country. 
"Your sacrifices have brought us freedom. The beacons of your blood have lit the way to independence. Celebrate the victory and freedom from the Canadians," said the statement, written in Pashtu, but translated for The Canadian Press. 
It said that the Canadians followed Holland, Denmark, Australian, Poland, and Spain in "retreat and failure." Those nations have also begun withdrawing their forces from the International Security Assistance Force mission run by NATO.
If you are feeling surprised by this, you probably shouldn't be.  The brutal reality is that when Canada and other NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in 2002, they really just pushed the Taliban and its allies underground.

There is no reason to believe that they went away, or were in any way dismantled by the NATO occupation.  These groups seldom are easily dismantled.  When confronted with a large, organized force like NATO, they simply vanish into the woodwork and bide their time until the overwhelming forces decide to leave.  (A pattern which echoes through Afghanistan's history - invasion, occupation and eventual departure)

The current government will continue to stand for a while yet, but I do not expect Karzai to hold on to power for very long once the Taliban decide to push him out.

While the Taliban may be a reprehensible government, the process of getting rid of them is not one that can be completed in a decade.  It is one that ultimately requires at least three generations to undertake, and possibly longer.

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