Monday, August 07, 2006

Denmark's neo-colonial adventure

Sometimes there's news in the Danish media about Afghanistan. That happens every time something happens to Danish soldiers there.
Why has Denmark sent 290 soldiers to Afghanistan? If you ask the average common man in the street, he probably doesn't know the answer. If you ask the politicians in the Danish parliament who sent them there, they probably don't know the answer either.
One answer to the question you sometimes hear is that they're in Afghanistan to see to it that there's "stability and quiet" in this far-away country. Or that "it's necessary to help the Americans to build democracy".
Now the Danish People's Party who is part of the war coalition demands that the Danish force be employed against the Taleban insurgents. Otherwise the soldiers "should be withdrawn from the turbulent Helmand province", foreign spokesman Søren Espersen from the DPP says to the Danish press in the beginning of August.
"If we do not want to be part of a war of aggression against the Taleban and al-Queda, we either got to get the soldiers home, or they shall be stationed in the north, where they can do surveillance and law-and-order tasks."
"They cannot build a bridge and be shot at at the same time," Espersen adds, and as a kind of after-thought: "It's boundlessly naive to imagine that this is possible"!
It's nice that the leading politicians are such common-sensical folks.

The Brits do not seem to be in doubt about what their troops are doing in Helmand province. When the 10th British soldier was killed this morning the British military sent out the following message (Guardian):

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the soldier's next of kin were being informed. "It is with regret that we can confirm that a member of the UK Armed Forces has been killed in action this afternoon during ongoing operations against insurgent positions in Helmand Province"

As the Danish soldiers are under British command in the ISAF force they're probably there for the same purpose. They're fighting insurgents, whether they're called "Taleban" or something else. And these insurgents are getting stronger by the day. Because they do not like foreign occupation. Nor does the Afghan population. That is the reason why insurgents become increasingly efficient. This is the way guerilla force normally operate.


Blogger Sophia said...

At least Danish soldiers don't seem to have the irst role in 'stabilising' Afghanistan ! This role was calimed by our Prime minister Stephen Harper. Every week there is a Candaian casualty in Afghanistan and nobody knows what the soldiers are doing there and what is the purpose of the force.

11:50 AM  

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