Liberal MP Bob Rae played a leading role in the federal government’s decision to extend the mission in Afghanistan, according to a report in The Globe and Mail. In fact, it was Rae’s assurance the Liberals would support a post-2011 training mission that reportedly made the extension possible, which both sides insist isn’t the product of a deal between the Liberals and the Conservatives. “This is not a government that says, ‘we would like to work with you to craft a position,'” Rae told the paper. “I think the government was looking for confirmation that this was what we actually thought.” Still, finding support for the extension among the Liberal caucus allowed the government to avoid taking the issue to Parliament, something the Conservatives were desperate to do. “It wouldn’t be good for the mission to have a gigantic fight in Parliament while the mission’s still fighting,” said one Conservative.