Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 Southam Inc.
Author: Norine MacDonald


Re: We Need NATO Help: Manley, Jan. 23.

The Manley panel correctly identified the deteriorating security 
situation in Afghanistan by recommending that 1,000 extra troops be 
sent to Kandahar. However, NATO overall would need to double its 
ground troop capacity to 80,000 and remove all caveats of where 
troops are deployed, if it is to have any chance of halting the 
insurgency's momentum. Indeed, recent Senlis Council research 
indicates that the Taliban now have a presence in 54% of Afghanistan.

NATO forces must also be permitted to enter Pakistan, alongside the 
Pakistani military, to root out Taliban bases. Without going across 
the border to deal with these safe havens, it will be impossible to 
stop the Afghan insurgency.

Finally, Canada must have an effective counter-narcotics strategy for 
Afghanistan. The Senlis Council would like to see farmers allowed to 
grow opium for the production of painkillers, such as morphine.

Continuing to follow failed U.S.-led policies such as forced poppy 
crop eradication will only push locals into the arms of the Taliban, 
sabotaging any prospects of bringing stability to Afghanistan.

Norine MacDonald, president and lead field researcher, The Senlis 
Council, Kabul, Afghanistan.
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