Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clinton States Obvious; Canadian Media Loses It

Diplomacy can be a tricky thing. Stephen Harper is learning that the hard way this week after his failed arctic meeting. Hillary Clinton made what would seem to be fairly innocuous comments about theoretically wanting the Canadian military to stay on in Afghanistan. Of course the Americans would like to continue to have forces from a country that has a) been in Afghanistan for almost a decade b) been willing to pay the ultimate price in Afghanistan's most dangerous areas unlike certain NATO partners. From the US perspective, this is common sense. Well, that is unless you read the Canadian media response to Clinton's comments. What is probably fueling the Canadian media firestorm is that the Conservative government has been not so quietly hinting for a while now that they would like to extend the Afghan mission if only Parliament would let them. How much of that sentiment is driven by a desire to look tough and how much is based on the Tories actually wanting to extend the mission isn't entirely clear. The politics of extension are murky at best when you consider Ignatieff's unequivocal love of all things peacekeeping.

The politics are interesting but everyone seems to be forgetting one key part of the story. The Canadian military has already said that it effectively can't continue the mission in Afghanistan beyond 2011. It doesn't have the available personnel or equipment to sustain the mission any longer. It needs a break. Whether or not Canada could sustain a smaller non-combat role is a different question, but we probably shouldn't be envisioning another five years in Kandahar here. Thank God for that. I personally cannot wait for the day when our brave men and women can come home safely. February 2011 cannot come soon enough.


Tom said...

On yesterday's Power Play, Iggy said he was open to the idea of Canadian troops staying in Afghanistan beyond 2011. Parliament voted to pull out in 2011.
Which party seems out of step here?

Anonymous said...

Iggy can't do the job so Hillary is trying to give his limpness a hand.

CanadianSense said...

If we can gain any credibility we need to end our combat mission as per our Parliament vote.

It was a very decisive debate that the Liberals lost with several key liberals breaking ranks against Dion.

Canada sent many missions to Nato, its allies as per Manley Report and informed our partners what was necessary.

A little too late to the party, should not be rewarded and we have already paid the brunt for the inaction by Nato.

The government has already told the opposition this will not be debated again.

The opposition free to create more controversy and waste opposition days on this matter.

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