15 February 2008

Canada's Role in Afghanistan

Captain's Quarters lauds the French entry to the NATO Combat Mission in Afghanistan and it is nice to see that the French finally have a leader with a soul but the story is more complicated on the Canadian side with the need to have some Opposition support to do the right thing - something that the opposition Liberals and NDP are loath to do. After a comprehensive study by a Liberal Privy Councilor who is now in private life both parties feel it is best to ignore the recommendations and stick to their old rhetoric.
"After touring NATO headquarters, Afghanistan and receiving hundreds of submissions, the independent commission (headed by former Liberal Foreign Minister John Manley) created by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to advise his government on the way forward is not expected to recommend any significant scaling back of Canada's commitment of 2,500 soldiers in the Kandahar region, or any profound change in their current marching orders." (National Post)
It seems that the way should be clear to maintain the mission until the job is finished, except that the current Liberals have a solution based on their polls and an ideology whose goal is to regain power rather than to do an important job right. They are stuck in a fictional paradigm that Canada's military are not war fighters but peacekeepers. They are happy to screw the people of Afghanistan and make a mockery out of the sacrifices of countless service people and their families including 78 soldiers killed in action in order to be seen to be upholding a nonsense notion of Canada's role in the world.

Happily disregarding the report, not prepared by some Conservative hack but by one of their own acting in his capacity as a lifetime Privy Councilor, the Liberal Leader Stephane Dion writes to the Prime Minister:
"The Liberal plan is consistent with our long-standing position that Canada's mission in Kandahar must change in February, 2009. It brings clarity to our goals in Afghanistan by placing a greater emphasis on stronger and more disciplined diplomatic efforts, and striking a better balance with respect to the reconstruction and development efforts that will be essential to creating a stable Afghanistan."
Manley's report recommended that the government get tough on the parts of NATO who have not been carrying their weight against the greatest threat to the Alliance since the fall of the Iron Curtain. It did, however, recommend that Canada continue to fight to maintain their gains. The Liberals feel that the "mission must be about more than the military: There is no
exclusively military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan so our
efforts must be balanced between defence, diplomacy and development." Clearly we have missed all our opportunities to negotiate a peaceful solution with the nihilist Taliban who, despite their every attempt to destroy all that has been built for the people of Afghanistan, really want to see the development succeed.

The NDP under Taliban Jack Layton want to withdraw all Canadian Troops immediately regardless of the disaster that would result for the people of Afghanistan. After all, there can't be a war if we don't fight, right. Jack is the fellow who has consistently cooperated with the Taliban by insisting on surrender and withdrawal every time a Canadian soldier is killed - ensuring the next attack will occur. Without Jack's participation, the IEDs would be worthless. This is, of course, the party that (as the CCF) insisted until 1942 that we pull out of WWII.

Why is all this important? Because, without the support or abstinence of one of the Opposition Parties the Government cannot pass a resolution on the future of the mission. The NDP will not play grown-up and the Liberals would rather play politics. The Manley Report brought the French in but the Liberals want us just to switch places with them in the Coward's Section.