"Kandahar means Afghanistan. If we have a peaceful Kandahar, we will have a peaceful Afghanistan," Tooryalai Wesa, governor of Kandahar province, said in an interview. "The history and politics of Afghanistan is always determined from Kandahar."
Yet until recent months, a combat force of only 1,000 Canadian troops was in place to defend Kandahar. That allowed the Taliban to control large parts of the province and reach into the provincial capital with a step-by-step plan to capture Kandahar city.
The troop deployment in Kandahar is being ramped up rapidly and should reach some 6,000 this spring. Thousands more likely would be deployed to begin a major offensive in the province in early summer.