Friday, January 22, 2010

Kandahar post-2011: "Good Questions"

As Brian Platt puts it at The Canada-Afghanistan Blog:
At least somebody in our government is asking them...
That's Sheila Fraser, the first Auditor General to visit a war zone, on what will happen to our development and other activities in Afstan after the CF are pulled out. More in another story:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Auditor General Sheila Fraser wrapped up a five-day visit to Afghanistan on Friday, impressed with what she saw but concerned about the fate of Canadian projects after the pullout next year.

The visit, with members of her defence-audit team, was to gain an understanding of what was going in Kandahar, in both military and development terms rather than do an audit, Fraser said [see this post for one of them on the CF].

In an interview at Kandahar Airfield, Fraser said most Canadians don't have a grasp of the scope of the mission, which will have cost an estimated $18 billion by the time it wraps up next year.

"(There's) really a strong development component to (the mission), which I don't think Canadians are aware of and how important that is," Fraser said.

The auditor general visited several Canadian bases and flew over the Dahla dam - Canada's $50-million "signature" rehabilitation project that has largely stalled, in part because of security concerns.

It's the fate of those kinds of projects, as well as the training of the Afghan army and police [emphasis added] that Fraser said she was concerned about after Canadian soldiers withdraw in 2011.

"Who is going to take over the responsibility that the Canadian military is currently assuming?" she said, admitting it was more of political question than an audit one.

"Will all of those projects be able to continue? That's a question worthy of discussion back home."..
Sure is, but our government and opposition parties are too chicken to face up to the issues.


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