Afghanistan Remains ‘Impossible’ to Triumph Over as Canada Withdraws Forces Too

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 10, 2014 5:12 PM EST

While Major-General Dean Milner explained Afghanistan as a "completely different" nation from what it was in 2001 when Canadian soldiers first stepped on to the Afghan soil, he said that Afghan forces were still being trained by around 100 military personnel from Canada. Toronto Sun has reported that Maj-Gen Milner believes that the security that the country presently enjoys has a lot to do with the Canadian contribution to it. He justified his claim by citing that around eight million Afghan children were put back to school.

REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Colombo March 6, 2014. Karzai is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka.

Even though Canada left the battle frontlines in Afghanistan in 2011, the complete withdrawal of its forces would take place around the second week of March 2014. Even after having a strong base in Afghanistan for over a decade, Western nations may still consider the Middle-Eastern country a truly invincible one. A BBC feature on March 9 asks the obvious: if Afghanistan is "impossible to conquer".

The Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan ended 25 years ago. The United States is expected to remove most of the military forces by the end of 2014. Now, Canada has decided to pull its forces off too. William Dalrymple, BBC's Kandahar correspondent, cannot resist the temptation of comparing the Russian invasion of Afghanistan with the American intervention. Even though both seem to be distinctly different from each other, Mr Dalrymple finds "uncomfortable similarities" between the two.

The most prominent similarity is that both the nations presumed that they would be able to spoonfeed the Afghan people, build a government of their choice and leave within one year. Eventually, both were obliged to withdraw from a tedious (with no apparent sign of respite) and highly expensive mission.

The Russian force left around 1.5 million corpses, while the U.S. forces managed to murder 100,000. However, Afghanistan still manages to rise against the foreign intervention and refuses to be amicable to outsiders.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte / )
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Colombo March 6, 2014. Karzai is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka.
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