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Canada Lays Out Benchmarks/Exit Strategy for AFG

The Bread Guy

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Directing Staff
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- Edited to clarify subject line, add news release, backgrounder to Media Advisory below -

Canada Sets Benchmarks to Track Progress in Afghanistan
Government of Canada news release, 5 Sept 08
News Release - Backgrounder

The Government of Canada today released a series of benchmarks for the six priorities and three signature projects it is implementing in Afghanistan between now and 2011. Canada’s new direction in Afghanistan, which was announced on June 10th, focuses on working with the Afghan government to improve the lives of Afghans and, in particular, the residents of Kandahar province.....

On the key priorities

....Benchmarks to measure ANA progress are very precise and are consistent with NATO’s overall ANA training initiatives. Examples include increasing the number of ANA battalions and their brigade headquarters capable of conducting near-autonomous security operations and increasing the number of key districts where the ANA is responsible for security.  Canada’s police, justice and corrections benchmarks will be measured using quantitative and qualitative progress indicators, including the number of officers trained, the completion of infrastructure and equipment projects, and the capacity of police forces to plan, execute and sustain near-autonomous operations.....

....The key quantitative benchmark for the education signature project is the building, expansion and repair of 50 schools in key districts of Kandahar province. Other benchmarks are less tangible – for example, that more Kandaharis will have confidence in the ability of the government in Kandahar to deliver basic services. This benchmark is based on Afghan perception and will be measured against findings from public opinion research. It is important to note that polling in a complex environment like Kandahar is challenging and results may not always be reliable.  In the case of the Dahla Dam signature project, some key indicators have been established such as the number of seasonal jobs created. Other indicators of progress will continue to be refined as the project moves into the planning and implementation stages....

....The ability of public institutions to plan and coordinate emergency assistance and support vulnerable populations in Kandahar, a benchmark for this priority, will be measured by a series of quantitative and qualitative indicators, including the capacity of ministries to put in place effective disaster preparedness plans and provide access to vulnerable populations to essential quality health services. No single indicator is comprehensive enough to provide a complete picture. Considered together, they will help to provide an assessment of progress. This priority also includes Canada’s signature project on polio eradication. The benchmarks and indicators for this project are specific and quantifiable: the number of children vaccinated and the number of cases of polio reported....

....Canada will enhance border security, with a view to facilitate bilateral dialogue between Afghan and Pakistan authorities. The objective is to enhance the dialogue between these two countries, so that by 2011, Afghan institutions, in cooperation with Pakistan, will exercise a stronger capacity to manage the border and foster economic development in the border area....

....Helping to increase Afghanistan’s capacity for democratic governance by contributing to effective and accountable public institutions and electoral processes will be Canada’s focus in this priority area. By 2011, national, provincial, and local institutions - particularly those in Kandahar province – are expected to exhibit an increasing capacity for democratic governance in the deliberation and delivery of public programs, services, and in carrying out democratic elections.  Canada’s benchmarks for this priority are consistent with the Government of Afghanistan’s own objectives. The first is for Afghanistan to be able to manage the upcoming elections. The Government of Afghanistan intends to hold two elections before 2011 - a presidential election and election of provincial councils in 2009 and the election of parliament and district councils in 2010. This benchmark will be measured by identifying the number of registered voters and voter turnout. Another benchmark is for key ministries in Afghanistan to be able to plan, resource, manage and maintain the delivery of services at the sub-national level. Progress indicators for this benchmark will be very qualitative, because for the time being, they will be mostly based on perceptions....

.... Canada will facilitate Afghan-led efforts towards political reconciliation, in the interest of a sustainable peace. By 2011, Canada expects that national and provincial government initiatives will encourage reconciliation, with timely support from Canada.  Ultimately, only the Afghan government has the authority to pursue political reconciliation; Canada and other international partners will play supporting roles. Progress indicators to measure the benchmark of the government of Afghanistan’s ability to promote reconciliation include: identifying Afghan institutions and officials responsible for moving reconciliation forward; and, the government’s improved ability to communicate with Afghans about reconciliation....

From the DFAIT web page:

Technical Briefing on Afghanistan

On Friday, September 5, 2008, David Mulroney, Deputy Minister of Canada’s Afghanistan Task Force, will provide a general on-the-record overview of the benchmarks and progress indicators that Canada will be using in Afghanistan between now and 2011.

Senior representatives from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of National Defence will also be present during the briefing (not for cameras; attribution to senior government officials).

Briefing (open to media only)

September 5, 2008

11 to 11:45 a.m. EDT

Cadieux Auditorium
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario

Media representatives unable to attend in person may participate by teleconference.

Teleconference information:

Conference ID number: 63454812
Local/international dial-in number: 613-954-4096
North American dial-in number: 1-888-265-0464

For more information, please contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Perhaps it is time to bring this topic back to the forefront.  We have many Canadians who still think we need to "Bring Our Troops Home".  I would hesitate a guess that 99.9995% of them have no clue as to what the ramifications of that would be.  Nor do I think that they really understand what the true situation of current political views are on that subject.

If I may quote dramaman on another site:
response 911 of 945:    Nov 14 23:17 CST 2008


"You can't have a pipeline without security either."


ANOTHER rationalization for Canadian deaths there?

No surprise at all.

"Does not change the truth of my statement."

Ah, yes.....

Always "truth" in kk's opinions.

Disagree, and wait to be called an idiot, or be told that what you
post is "usually unclear, often contradictory, and regularly naive."

Usual kk M.O. 

We can see that some Canadians are living in a magical mythical world where a simple touch of a magic wand will instantly create a stable environment for Afghans to live in peace.  They seem unable to grasp the reality that it takes more than a few hours or days to TRAIN the Afghan military and Police in the skills, and moral and ethical methods, to protect their citizenry.

We do indeed need to provide Afghans a secure environment in which we can train them and give them the "tools" to defend themselves from those who would try and dominate them.  We don't have to try and "Westernize" them.  We just have to give them the skill sets that will permit them to create a stable climate in which to allow their culture to flourish.  Education is one of the main keys.  Educate the people.  Educate the Military.  Educate the Police.  With those tools they can take command of their own destinies.