The immortal words of then New York Jets coach Herm Edwards I believe can be applied to the NATO status in Afghanistan. I am hearing more and more voices saying that we can't win and we should withdraw, and I mean that it is coming from all NATO partners. I understand that it is terrible when our troops are killed, but there was a reason that we sent our young men and women over there. I support rotating other NATO troops into the more volatile areas to ease the burden Canadian soldiers have been bearing, but is withdrawing NATO really the best road to follow? For all the sacrifice so many NATO soldiers and families have paid, I believe that their sacrifice was for a noble cause. And that cause is no less noble today when 8 years have passed and the Taliban are still alive because they hide in caves and get sanctuary in Pakistan.
Do you recall the Behind the Veil documentary about just how insane the Taliban was? Their oppression of women ranks among the most horrific crimes against humanity that I have seen in my lifetime. I always believed that the liberation of women would do more to transform the male dominated culture of Islam than 1000 bunker busters. Unfortunately those changes are generational, and you do not see the real progress in the short term. Any culture that treats their women as slaves deserves to get their asses kicked.
Ultimately the road to long term success goes through India and Pakistan, but that would take some top rate diplomacy to salvage that relationship. I don't even know if the Messiah could pull off that miracle. By all accounts the Pakistani military have been killing bad guys in the north since that little SWAT crisis, and we should encourage them to continue. I know that people love to say "if you kill a terrorist you only create 3 more terrorists in the future", but I believe in killing bad guys. Maybe it incites some toddler to pick up an AK47 when he's a teenager, but I will take my chances with killing as many bad guys as we can in the near term.
I think it would be more constructive to discuss winning strategies than discussing a complete withdrawal. Yes democracies trend against wars the longer they are fought, but we went over there for the right reasons and I believe that like Herm, you play to win the game!
"An appeaser is a man who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last"