I hope it is becoming clear to even the casual observer that the radical Islamist movement is counting on Western nations losing their nerve, and doing everything in their power to ensure we cut and run.
Osama Bin Laden follows the polls:
"In response to the substance of the polls in the U.S., which indicate that Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to."
The essence of terror as a psy-op above all else isn't lost on him. While the amount of formal coordination between Al Qaeda and the remnants of the Taliban is unclear, what remains certain is that they get Bin Laden's message: step up your attacks whenever the Coalition looks wobbly.
Hence the augmented threat of serious IED attacks:
The car contained a dozen artillery shells and about 120 kilograms of explosives -- enough to kill anyone within 75 metres of where it blew up.
There has been no indication who might be behind the explosives-laden vehicle, said McClure.
The apparent discovery of the massive explosive device comes just days after a suicide car bombing killed Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry, 59. The explosives found Thursday were far more powerful than those used in the bombing that claimed the life of Berry, said McClure.
That's why when Jack!, a man educated well beyond his intelligence, spouts off about not conducting offensive operations in Afghanistan, he comes across as a foreign-affairs lightweight. Because people intimately familiar with the situation on the ground - people who are no toadies of the U.S. - think offensive operations to wipe out the last vestiges of the Taliban are exactly what's required.
This worsening situation is not likely to improve until NATO forces move into the south in force. The Taliban need to be defeated on the ground, and Pakistan needs to do more to destroy their sanctuaries and logistic hubs across the border. But NATO troops also need to provide more of the security and support to aid agencies to win the battle for reconstruction. That is precisely what Glyn Berry was doing in Kandahar and what he laid down his life for.
The Taliban are prepared for a long war of attrition that will continue until NATO forces show their staying power. Any weakness shown by the Western alliance now will only bolster the Taliban's morale and claim more Afghan lives. A resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in southern Afghanistan will only help create more recruits for Islamic extremist groups right across the region, and that will ultimately strengthen such groups in Europe and the Americas. (Babbler's bold)
Canadian troops are good at this. Better than the Americans, in fact. During Operation Apollo, we billeted sub-units with the Afghan Army - the Americans wouldn't. We ran joint patrols with local forces, the Americans didn't. In fact, we ran dismounted patrols while the U.S. forces stayed exclusively in their vehicles. As a result, we obtained far more human intelligence (HUMINT) than the U.S. military in the Coalition did.
That's the sort of approach that allows us to discover massive roadside bombs before they kill anyone. That's part of what will make Canada's 3D strategy (Defence, Diplomacy, and Development) successful in Afghanistan.
The 3D approach, including a robust Defence element is not perfect. Despite our best efforts, it never will be. But fighting the terrorists while rebuilding failed and failing states is better than any other alternative we can name.
It's gut-check time, and Canada needs to remain resolute.