It’s a looooong way to 2011, baby…

September 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm 2 comments

Updated: CTV National News story on Harper’s Afghanistan 2011 pull-out pledge. Read more here in the Sun and Toronto Star, or watch this longer interview on CPAC last night.


Rideau Institute’s response to Harper announcement on Afghanistan, that regarding Canada’s military contribution to the war in Afghanistan, “We intend to end it [in 2011].”

  • Canadians should greet this election promise with some scepticism, since Mr. Harper is likely to say whatever it takes to win a majority. This is an attempt to remove the Afghanistan war from the election campaign. 
  • The end date of December 2011 puts Canada at less than halfway through its mission in Kandahar, which began officially in February 2006, or 30 months ago. Continuing until December 2011 will mean another 40 months of combat in Kandahar. A lot can happen in that time, including, ironically, a potential escalation of our commitment there in the next year following the U.S. elections. 
  • Mr. Harper’s new position is trying to address a growing public unease with the war. 61% say that the cost to Canada “in lives and money has been unacceptable” (Harris/Decima Aug. 28-31, 2008). It is unrealistic to expect that Canadians will accept another three years of sacrifice. 
  • Instead, Mr. Harper should make a commitment to refocus Canadian efforts to ending the war, not handing it over to the Afghans to fight after we’re gone. 

Entry filed under: Steven Staples.

Want an election debate on the war? Don’t hold yer breath Read the fine print in Harper’s Afghan announcement, says defence lobby

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Canadian Election Coverage « mirabile dictu  |  September 11, 2008 at 1:39 am

    […] UPDATE II: see buckdog and Insider – especially here and here […]

  • 2. Terri Robson  |  September 11, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Considering that Canada’s Military is for all intents and purposes under the control of the Pentagon through the signing in February that allows for the amalgamation of Canadian and U.S. Forces, creating one huge Joint Task Force. We need to look at what northcoms stated mandate is. TOTAL CONTROL OF THE PERIMETER OF NORTH AMERICA UP TO 500 miles offshore. Harper is being very disengnious by saying his militarization of the Arctic is a ‘Conservative’ idea, when in fact it is a Rumsfeld and other former PNAC members who have now formed another right wing war mongering group of which McCain is still a part of.


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