The next target for coalition forces in Afghanistan could be Kandahar, report two Canadian publications.
“If everything runs true to current form, Canadian Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard will soon loudly announce a major combat operation in Kandahar that will look a lot like the one launched by NATO on Saturday in neighboring Helmand — which came after weeks of very public propaganda about when and where it was going to take place,” writes Matthew Fisher in a report published by the Vancouver Sun.
“As the operation in central Helmand winds down, all eyes will inevitably turn to Kandahar, which is now the last major Taliban stronghold in the south.”
Canadian troops might be heavily involved in such an offensive, reports Josh Wingrove for The Globe and Mail.
“By late spring or early summer, Canada will be at 'the tip of the spear' of NATO's efforts in Afghanistan, leading a massive push in Kandahar province on the scale of this month's attacks in nearby Helmand, a top coalition soldier says,” Wingrove writes.
“Canadian Brigadier-General Craig King, the coalition's director of future plans in Afghanistan's volatile south, said allied forces and government agencies are preparing for an attack that will take place in the coming months, and draw largely from the playbook of this month's assault on Marjah and Nad Ali in Helmand in a bid to push the Taliban from restive pockets in Kandahar province.”
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Carlotta Gall and Souad Mekhennet (New York Times): "Taliban arrest may be crucial for Pakistanis"
- Wesley Morgan (New York Times): “Marjah: From USAID to U.S. Marines”
- Sumit Ganguly (Wall Street Journal): “Let India train the Afghan army”
- Council on Foreign Relations: “U.S.-Pakistan: Aligning Military Interests”