Canadian Drones Patrol Afghan Airspace

“Unmanned warplanes stretch the definition of “nation building”

“Canada’s military role in the sky makes it is clear that the mission is not humanitarian. [The recent] expansions of military capabilities in the air is indicative of the real nature of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and our role as an occupying force.”

Operating from the skies allows Canada a huge technological advantage over local guerrillas in southern Afghanistan. The advantage of aerial combat is especially important in light of recent events that suggest the US-backed government in Kabul is losing political control over major regions in the country, including Kandahar, where Canadian forces are stationed.

Last June, militias staged a spectacular jailbreak at the main prison in Kandahar, freeing up to 1,000 prisoners, after blowing open the prison walls with explosives. This action set a new benchmark for the growing capacities of rebels in southern Afghanistan.

Hundreds have been killed in southern Afghanistan this past year, while US and Canadian military officials – as in Iraq – continue to ignore demands from human rights organizations that they keep records on civilian deaths.

“The number of civilians killed by the international forces in Afghanistan remains significantly underreported,” stated Amnesty International in a 2008 report.

“Taliban is a label applied to any male over eighteen that the Canadian army kills in Afghanistan, a term that is so broadly applied it is absurd,” continues Schoen. “Generally this term Taliban is used without any verification and is used to cover up killings carried out by Canadian forces.”

Now that Afghan skies are patrolled by foreign military forces, the spy drones that fly over Kandahar providing details for Canadian military strikes are adding another military layer to the thousands of foreign troops already occupying the country.

After decades of conflict in Afghanistan and thousands of civilian deaths since the 2001 US-led invasion, one key point has been clearly repeated by progressive voices inside Afghanistan: military-driven solutions delivered by foreign forces will not provide safety or stability for the country.

“We need liberation, not occupation,” outlines Malalai Joya, celebrated member of the Afghan Parliament, in a recent interview. “Afghans have a long history of fighting foreign occupation and if the … occupation lasts longer we may witness many mass resistance movements against it.” read more

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