Harjit Sajjan has been in hot water of late for claiming that he was the "architect" of Operation Medusa. It's never wise to blow your trumpet too loudly. Immodesty always comes back to bite you. However, Sajan was not the only one who recognized the work he did in Afghanistan. Tom Walkom writes:
According to a letter later sent to Vancouver’s chief constable by Brig. Gen. David Fraser, the top Canadian commander in Afghanistan at the time (and later obtained by the online publication National Observer), Sajjan was a marvel.
Calling him “one of the most remarkable people I have worked with” Fraser said that Sajjan “single-handedly changed the face of intelligence gathering and analysis in Afghanistan …“His analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large-scale theatre-resourced efforts, including Operation Medusa,” the general wrote, adding that Sajjan’s experience as an undercover cop and his ability to understand criminal networks made him particularly useful in navigating the shoals of Afghan affairs.“He was the best single Canadian intelligence asset in theatre,” Fraser wrote. “He personally fused broad sources of information into an extremely coherent picture upon which most of the formation’s major operations were based.”
The problem is that Operation Medusa had no lasting effect on the situation in Afghanistan:
Like so much in the Afghan War, however, victory was fleeting. The Afghan National Police were unable, or unwilling, to hold the ground that had been taken. In Sept. 2007, the Canadians launched Operation Keeping Goodwill to recapture some of the areas in Zhari district that had been lost.By this time, according to the Washington Post, the number of Taliban fighters in Panjwai were back up to pre-Medusa levels.In 2010, Canadian forces were fighting again for the Panjwai, this time as part of Operation Hamkari.
By the end of 2011, the Canadian battle group was effectively out of Kandahar province. By 2014, it was out of Afghanistan altogether.
The debate shouldn't be about Sajjan. It should be about Canadian policy in Afghanistan.
Image: Huffington Post