Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Afghanistan: A Plan

For those who watch CBC's The National, you would have noticed the significant amount of stories lately on the war in Afghanistan. All of the sudden, this war has been a hotter topic than it was even a few months ago.

PM Harper has been saying that we are there to help the country, Defense Minister O'Connor has been saying that we are there because of 9/11, NDP leader Layton has said we shouldn't be there, and Liberal Dion hasn't said much at all on this issue.

My opinion: we should we helping Afghanistan; not fighting and blowing up its people. In other words, we just need to significantly change the objectives of this mission. We cannot deny that we have the potential to make the country a much better place for its people, but we also cannot deny that we are currently occupied with raw war, and that it is not going to take Afghanistan to where it should be. And where is that, you ask? Afghanistan needs to be an independent country. It needs to have its own military that is properly trained, and it needs to have a much stronger democracy, to ensure that criminals aren't getting elected.

We cannot stay there forever. There is the problem of the home team advantage that the Taliban has, as it knows the people, and the people can, and do, often trust them more than us. By giving the Afghan government the nessecary training for its army, the good side, too, can have the home team advantage.

Now you may be saying this is all well and good, helping Afghanistan to become an independent nation and not have to rely on other countries, but you are probably asking what we are going to do about the Taliban. The supporters of the Taliban are never going to completely go away, but in fact it is not solely them who are doing the fighting. They are paying civilians to risk their lives fighting the West. The reason these people are fighting is because the Taliban pays them more than $200 per month, while most jobs in Afghanistan would only pay less than $150 per year. So the biggest reason that the Taliban is still strong is due to its money. This flow of money, then, obviously needs to be stopped. So where are they getting their money? 'Tis the opium crops, of course. But I do not think, for the sake of people who make a living off of them, we should ban all poppy crops; we should make a system to have all poppy crops sold through a regulated system, to ensure that the money goes to the farmers. Any farmer who cannot prove that he is a member of this system will have to forfeit his crops. It's that simple.

I strongly believe that we have the opportunity to do good in Afghanistan, as long as we do the right things. We should be training their forces, building their democracy, and helping their overall society, instead of this endless fighting. Canadians will continue to die if we are doing the combat work. It would be much more efficient, and have better chances of success, for the Afghan people themselves to save their country. History has shown that countries cannot succeed at all if they are under the oppression of a foreign country; they need to be given independence, and a chance to succeed.


Anonymous said...

I agree. War is not going to solve anything any time soon. We should be focusing on helping Afghanistan, not the U.S.

Anonymous said...

We should just pull out altogether. We've done enough over 5 years.

Julian Benson said...

I agree with the last poster, we must withdraw. It isn't that I don't care about the Afghani people, in fact it's the exact opposite. Our presence there is only exacerbating the situation.
Just look at the government that we are fighting to defend. According to Human Right Watch, over 60% of sitting Afghan MPs are connected directly to drug trafficking and human rights abuses. Additionally, the country's opium crop and state corruption are at record levels, even higher then under the Taliban.
It doesn't matter if we're there as fighters or peacekeepers, as long as we are involved in this mission we are just supporting one set of tyrants against another