Olivia Ward, writing in the Toronto Star reports growing dissatisfaction with what is happening to Canadian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. They constitute about 2,500 of the 41,000 troops who represent 37 nations that have sent troops to the nation. “The bad news,” she says, “is that it’s mostly a coalition of the unwilling.” Many countries have dispatched troops, but they are far from sufficient in numbers to really accomplish the goals of establishing stability and peace in the region. those on the front lines “call in vain for reinforcements” that will never arrived. According to University of Oxford strategist, Sibylle Schelpers, “bumping up troop levels won’t work. A coherent strategy is what is needed, and so far that is lacking.”
As of this point in time, there is no long term plan for Afghanistan, no overall planning and coordination of troops, no common training programs, and no direction other than do the best you can. It is obvious any solution requires additional troops, but the Americans are stuck in Iraq and few of the other “unwilling nations” are prepared to dispatch large numbers of troops to the far away Afghanistan. The Taliban moves from one region to another, but they call the shots rather than coalition leaders. We are stuck in a quagmire that will just sit quietly and do relatively little to resolve long term issues.