For reasons that are obscure, the Taliban recently went public with
their strategy for dealing with Canadian troops in Afghanistan. A Taliban
spokesman has announced that they are concentrating their attacks on Canadian
troops in order to persuade Canadian voters to elect a government willing and eager
to get out of Afghanistan. This had long been suspected, as captured Taliban
communications had mentioned this tactic before. Al Qaeda had made much of the
way the 2004 al Qaeda attack in Spain caused an anti-American government to be
elected, and Spanish troops shortly thereafter withdrawn from Iraq.
Most Canadian politicians recoiled at this Taliban threat,
and vowed not to be intimidated. But the Canadian people, via strident coverage
of Taliban threats, and army losses, are influenced. The Islamic radicals have
plenty of fans (largely among the Moslem community) in Canada who report, via
email and pro-terrorist message boards, what the mood is in Canada. So the
Taliban are feeling pretty sure of themselves, and some of them believed that
openly boasting about their strategy would speed up the process.
Canadian elections take place next month. So far,
Canada has lost 97 troops in Afghanistan, and has 2,500 troops stationed there.
Thus the Canadian casualty rate in Afghanistan is nearly three times what it is
for U.S. troops. The casualty rate is also higher for British troops. But much
of this is due to the fact that the U.S. has a lot of support troops in
Afghanistan, and many other NATO contingents are not allowed to fight. Finally,
Canadian and British troops are operating in Helmand province, where most of
the Heroin is produced, and the Taliban has some of its highest support.