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Thursday, October 22, 2015
The Crumbling Empire
The Crumbling Empire
Canada withdrawing fighter jets from Iraq, Syria, Trudeau tells Obama
October 20, 2015 6:07 PM
Ottawa (AFP) - Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he told US President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
But he gave no timeline.
"About an hour ago I spoke with President Obama," Trudeau told a press conference.
While Canada remains "a strong member of the coalition against ISIL," Trudeau said he made clear to the US leader "the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission."
Canada last year deployed CF-18 fighter jets to the region until March 2016, as well as about 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq.
During the campaign, Trudeau pledged to bring home the fighter jets and end its combat mission. But he vowed to keep military trainers in place.
His new Liberal government will be "moving forward with our campaign commitments in a responsible fashion," Trudeau said.
"We want to ensure that the transition is done in an orderly fashion."
Helmand Capital at Risk as Taliban Gains Mount
by Jason Ditz, October 20, 2015
Afghan Taliban forces have been racking up gains in the southeast, near Ghazni, and still hold some territory in Kunduz Province, though they’ve since left the city of Kunduz itself. Their latest gains are in the important Helmand Province, a key part of the Afghan opium industry, .
Officials say they’ve seen reports of civilians fleeing the city in large numbers, and Taliban gains in Gereshk District have convinced many that the fall of the capital is only a matter of time.
The fall of Lashkar Gah would put the Taliban under control of another part of the key Highway 1, this time the part that links Kandahar to the western city of Herat. The Ghazni offensive likewise would effectively give the Taliban control of the highway on the other side of Kandahar, leading to the capital of Kabul.
A nation with little infrastructure, Highway 1 is one of only a few paved roads of import in Afghanistan, and circles around the country, hitting most of the major cities. Control over the highway’s chokepoints could severely limit the Afghan government’s access to the country’s south.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books areThe Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West
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