See why those long, boring year-end government interviews can be worth going over?
This, yesterday, from CanWest News Service’s Matthew Fisher and Mike Blanchfield:
“Canada’s area of responsibility in the Taliban heartland will be cut by nearly half this summer as part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s new Afghan strategy, to be unveiled Friday. But Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan is to retain control of some of Kandahar’s most violent areas — Kandahar City and the farming districts to the west of the provincial capital where three-quarters of Kandaharis live. Canada’s army also will remain NATO’s point of contact with the provincial governor. “Canada will be more focused on major population centres in and around Kandahar city, which is exactly where we want to have an impact with our priorities,” David Mulroney, the Privy Council Office deputy minister who heads the government’s Afghanistan Task Force, told an all-party committee of MPs Thursday….”
And this, earlier this week from the Globe & Mail’s Gloria Galloway:
…. Rumours have been circulating among local Afghans that the Canadians are planning to pull out of all districts except for Zhari, Panjway and Kandahar city….
This all sounded vaguely familiar, so I checked some old posts of mine at Army.ca, and whadda ya know? This, from a year-end interview with the boss of Canada’s Expeditionary Forces Command:
“….We will continue to separate the insurgents from the people (in 2009), but our broader focus has to be on the population — stabilizing in Kandahar City and building a stronger sense of security in the populated approaches to the city, while we support Afghan solutions and build their capacity to protect and look after their people. This will be the essence of our focus: where most Kandaharis live and sleep….”
Here’s a .pdf version of the interview in case it disappears.