Keep pushing Taliban, Canadians say
Canadian soldiers are concerned that the new Dutch commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan will let up the pressure on Taliban militants.
Canadians on the ground said they have to keep attacking the Taliban to prevent them from regrouping.
"If we don't push the Taliban and we don't push the fight to them and have them react to us, then they will employ the same tactics they have employed â€” tactics of repression, coercion, all of that stuff, and they will succeed," Maj. Steve Brown said.
Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser is preparing to end an eight-month rotation and give Dutch Maj.-Gen. Ton Van Loon command of NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The Dutch are under political pressure at home to focus more on reconstruction and development â€” including building bridges, training Afghan police and distributing food â€” and less on security.
But Canadians said it's not possible to build schools in a region where the Taliban destroy the buildings by night and kill the students during the day.
Fraser said Canadians shouldn't be worried about the Dutch. He's talked to the incoming commander, and is reassured.
He did say that the international community shouldn't let up the pressure as winter arrives, and needs to provide more resources.
"Now is not the time to let up," he said.
Everybody a target
"The Taliban respects nobody. A reporter, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN, military, Afghan. Everybody is an equal target of opportunity for them," Fraser told the Canadian Press.
"Suicide attacks are a concern," he said. "The Taliban have gone and demonstrated complete disregard for attacking the people. Because what they're attacking is success."
Even so, thousands of Afghans are living their lives in Kandahar, and the city "is just bustling," and much busier than it was eight months ago, Fraser said.
Forty-two Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died in Afghanistan since 2002, with most of the deaths happening this year.
But Afghan police and security forces are improving, he said, and several provincial governors are working on budgets and education because the situation has calmed enough to deal with regular government work.
NATO troops are advancing into parts of the country that were virtual no-go zones even a year ago, he said.
"We are making progress."
I dont like this at all
if the dutch let up then Canadian soliders are going to pay for it
were going to lose even more men
because a forign government decides they want to run things diffrent
i dont like that AT ALL
there our soliders
and letting up
taking the preasure off
letting the taliban regroup and dig down again will result in ALLOT more canadian deaths
and it will make previous sacrafices to get them the hell outta there worthless