Afghanistan: Picking on the Canadians


November28, 2006: The current plan is to hand over all security duties to the Afghan army by 2008. At that point, the army should have 70,000 troops. There are currently 36,000 trained troops, up from 25,000 this time last year. There's no assurance this will work, since the history of Afghanistan is one of a weak central government being defeated by more numerous and determined tribal fighters.

Meanwhile, the Taliban appear to be concentrating suicide attacks against Canadian troops. So far this year, Taliban action has killed 36 Canadians, out of a force of 2,300. Proportionately, that's twice the death rate American troops are suffering in Iraq. It appears the Taliban are trying to influence Canadian public opinion, which is already lukewarm on the Afghan operations. Each successful suicide bomb attack on Canadian troops causes more Canadian media to demand Canada get its troops out of Afghanistan. For the Taliban and al Qaeda, this is a sign of progress, because otherwise, the Canadian troops are killing Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in large numbers.

November 27, 2006: In an attempt to kill a senior security official, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant in eastern Afghanistan. The bomber missed his target, but killed 14 other Afghans. Elsewhere along the border, 55 Taliban were killed in several actions.

November 23, 2006: As Winter settles in, even the violence slows down. So far in November, Taliban attacks have fallen below ten a day, which is about half the rate of September and October. There are only about a dozen roadside bomber encountered a week, along with one or two suicide bombers. So far this year, some 3,700 people have died because of Taliban violence, about four times as many as last year.




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