Sunday, August 12, 2007


So much for my theory that even Gordon O'Connor wouldn't try to make the argument that Afghan troops don't need to be trained in order to take over operational responsibility in Kandahar. After all, word comes out today that any claim along those lines would only nicely match O'Connor's apparent theory that it doesn't much matter whether or not Afghan troops receive equipment promised by the Cons:
Toting obsolete equipment and an arsenal dating back to the Soviet era, the Afghan National Army says it’s waiting for modern weapons promised by Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor.

The Afghan army, which Canada is counting on to take over fighting against the Taliban in coming months, still has yet to receive C-7 assault rifles and ammunition the Canadian government pledged to deliver, said Lt.-Col. Sherinshaw Khobandi...

The C-7 delivery delay has slowed the preparation of Afghan recruits and stalled their takeover of combat operations against the Taliban.

For now, Afghan soldiers must rely on Soviet-era weapons, such as the Kalashnikov AK-47.

At best, the AK-47s are not as precise and have a shorter range than the C-7, which is the Canadian version of the American M-16.

Khobandi is waiting for the weapons with impatience.

"I’m hoping and waiting for that day (to) come," he said.
Needless to say, any anticipated change in equipment can only reduce the value of the training now being given to Afghan troops. Which means that the equipment problems make it even less likely that O'Connor's current spin about Canada's role in Kandahar could possibly bear any resemblance to reality.

Unfortunately, the Afghan army appears to be stuck "hoping and waiting" for competence which the Cons have shown no signs of being able to deliver. And now that it's clear that even the Afghan troops who are now at the centre of O'Connor's message are rightly impatient with the Cons' broken promises, there's no reason for Canadians to put up with Con government much longer.

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