Thursday, September 06, 2007

Conflicting Signals

Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche is painting wildly different pictures of the situation in Afghanistan, that seem to change daily. I'm not sure how anyone can reconcile these statements:
September 1::

Canadian soldiers here are trapped in a loop that has the fourth iteration of troops battling for the exactly the same ground their predecessors in southern Afghanistan fought to take.

“We essentially have to start from scratch, you know,” Brigadier-General Guy Laroche told The Globe and Mail this week in an interview at the main coalition base at Kandahar Air Field.

“Everything we have done in that regard is not a waste of time, but close to it, I would say.”

September 6::

But Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche, Canada's top soldier in Afghanistan, says the recent deadly roadside bombing campaign is the Taliban's last gasp. He motions toward the distant mountains west of Kandahar and says the Taliban have been so weakened that they cannot fight coalition forces face to face.

And he points out that families and children are returning to areas that used to be controlled by the Taliban.

Spinning our wheels last week, Taliban's "last gasp" the next? Conclusion- someone had a chat with Laroche following his defeatist tone last week and he has now adopted the company line. I was actually surprised at Laroche's candor, apparently others in the military were equally taken aback and the adjustment has been made. Laroche now sounds like every other commander before him, giving the false impression that victory is within our grasp. A politician is born.

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