Times Online : "The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in Afghanistan next year with an Iraq-style troop surge after becoming frustrated at Nato’s failure to defeat the Taliban.
Plans are being drawn up to send as many as 15,000 extra troops to Afghanistan with a single US general always in command, as in Iraq, defence sources said. The Pentagon is also pushing for a permanent “unified command” in the south of the country that would sideline the Dutch and the Canadians.
The surge will also see US and other coalition special forces, which operate separately from the Nato command, absorbed into a single US command for the whole of Afghanistan."
Bush to Harper and Nato : I'm in charge here.
So can we go back to calling it Operation Enduring Freedom again now?
"Just days after insurgents shot and killed two Canadian aid workers in eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban is warning similar attacks will occur.
The extremist group issued the warning in a letter posted on the internet, and the CBC confirmed its authenticity on Sunday after talking to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in Kandahar province:
"The Afghans did not go to Canada to kill Canadians. Rather it is the Canadians who came to Afghanistan to kill and torture the Afghans to please the fascist regime of America," the letter said."
Meanwhile, the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA has quietly revised its grant agreements to further shield the government from responsibility when aid workers are killed even as they told some organizations that they are more likely to receive funding for projects based in Kandahar, one of the most dangerous provinces in the country :
"Canada "shall not be liable for any losses, claims, damages, or expenses relating to any injury, disease, illness, disability or death of the employees or subcontractors of the organization alleged to be caused as a result of performing the agreement."
Nice. Stay tuned for Steve to nonetheless proclaim that Canada supports the troops, will not cut and run...