Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Afghanistan questions

Work is eating my life right now, including all my blogging time. But that's okay, 'cause Mike of Rational Reasons is asking the questions that need to be asked about Afghanistan, and so you should all be over there instead anyway. The first two are taken word-for-word from Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor back when he was the Conservatives' defence critic, and the rest are Mike's:

What are the goals and objectives of the mission and how do they meet our foreign-policy objectives?

What is the mandate, what is the defined concept of operations, what is the effective command and control structure, what are the rules of engagement?

To what extent have we been able to meet our non-military, PRT objectives in the South?

Are we still fighting the 'Taliban' or have other groups - heroin traffickers, disaffected warlords, honestly disgruntled peasants - entered the fray, complicating this matter?

How succesful have we been in bringing the Afghan police and army up to speed to help with security?

How have the recent actions of Pakistan - either in 'makng peace' with its tribal regions or in actively supporting the Taliban - changed the scope and complexity of the mission? Under these new circumstances, does our current plan and tactics make sense?

What kinds of non-combat operations are we doing that indeed help women protect their rights or help farmers get off of growing poppies?
Come to think of it, I'm turning comments off on this one so that the discussion can all gather over at his pad. I look forward to reading it.