Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM Stephen Harper says
In an interview on CNN's Fareed Zakaria on GPS yesterday, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper doubts that Afghan insurgents can ever be defeated. Watch Fareed Zakaria's full interview here.
"Frankly, we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency," Mr. Harper said.
Mr. Harper, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, said that despite sending thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan and suffering more than 100 troop deaths, the "success has been modest" and any gains made could be lost. "We're not going to win this war just by staying," Mr. Harper said, and pointed to the long history of Afghan insurgencies successfully driving out foreign invaders - including the Soviet army in the 1980s and the British a century earlier.
"[From] my reading of Afghanistan history, it's probably had an insurgency forever, of some kind," Mr. Harper said.
Coming just days after Obama ordered 17,000 additional U.S. combat troops into that forever-fighting land as a mere holding action, pending further study and possible additional deployments, that's got to be a stunner to the new White House team.
"If President Obama were to ask me that question, I would have a question back for him. And that question would be: 'What is your plan to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans.' " Mr. Harper said the paramount issue for Canadians was not "whether we stay or whether we go," but rather "are we being successful?"