Ottawa, July 10: The opposition in Canada believes that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, are too bullish and optimistic about future of the ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan.
While the Canadian government or military is of the view that the recent upsurge in Taliban attacks is expected, critics have objected to the painting of this rosy picture by the latter, saying that their public assessments of the Afghan war, analysis is out of step with far grimmer readings projected by the Pentagon. "There is a clear disconnect between the Canadian view and the American view," said Liberal defence critic Bryon Wilfert, whose party backed a Conservative motion this spring to extend Canada's military foray in southern Afghanistan to 2011.
"I think the Harper government is afraid that maybe people will ask, 'Is this winnable?' " The U.S. military has recently registered deep concern about the strength of the Taliban insurgency, but both Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of the Defence Staff General Walter Natynczyk have rejected the notion that the insurgents are making a serious comeback. They say the increased fighting is an anticipated part of the combat cycle.
So far, according to the Globe and Mail, the late spring and early summer have been tough going for the NATO forces. The number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan has reached 87. A mid-June jail break by insurgents in Kandahar, Canada's area of responsibility, freed 800 prisoners, including 400 Taliban sympathizers.