What if Obama wants us in Afghanistan past 2011?

Harper: “I’m not going to speculate on what President Obama may or may not ask me.”


During the election, Stephen Harper promised Canadian troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2011. Asked whether the new American administration might change that position, Lawrence Cannon and Peter MacKay have refused to budge—2011 is the end date. But in this interview with Sun media, the Prime Minister wiggles just slightly, saying “I’m not going to speculate on what President Obama may or may not ask me.”

Edmonton Sun

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What if Obama wants us in Afghanistan past 2011?

  1. This seems like sort of a funny line of questioning, but I am not impressed with teh answer. The PM should have simply stated that he would do what is best for Canada and for Canadians.

    I don’t think anyone can doubt Canada’s commitment – we have been in Afghanistan longer than we were in Britain for WWII. And if Harper says to Obama that Canada has done its bit and our (small) military needs a rest and a break to rebuild itself, then that should be good enough. Leaving after 8 years is not cutting and running.

    • I agree completely with the cutting and running section. Cutting and Running would be if we left now! We will finish our rotation and meet our responsiblities as oultined when we signed on and then we will rotate out as we do every time an NATO asks us for help. The tricky bit will be that there is no way even if hell froze over completely that the LPC can wait until 2011 to force an election as the last possible thing they want is to have Harper still sitting in the chair when the troops come home and the economy starts getting better. So it looks like 2010 is the most likely target date.

      • Well, I was avoiding being political, but I will note that Harper refuses to take a principled stand on behalf of Canadians, so I do not trust him to not bow to the United States. After all, if Jean Chretien had not been in power, Canada would have been part of the occupation of Iraq. Our flip-flopping PM would have embroiled us in that because he would have been afraid of annoying the US (and to avoid anything, Iggy would have put us there too).

  2. Not sure why he used the word “speculate” as opposed to obfuscate which would be more in character. and meaning.

  3. A single national securities regulator would solve this problem.

    • Pretty sharp there mister Mike.

  4. Most people in this country don’t get up in the morning and plan to do the wrong thing. Mr. harper is no different. His intention is to do what is best for his and our country and I believe he will continue to do that each morning he gets up. Good men are hard to come by, that is why most of the other politicians are always playing “catchup”. That is why the most powerful man in the world wants to meet him first over all other powerful men in this wold, he too knows he is a good man with god intention for his country.

    • Can you add music to that? Without the music it seems unconvincing somehow.

      • how about “O canada”

        • No problem. Would you say the following does justice to your view?


          Prime Minister,
          You’re such a perfect man:
          Staunch, faithful, good:
          No wonder I’m a fan!
          With glowing heart I see thee rise
          Each morning, pure and coiffed!
          If you should sneeze, Prime Minister,
          Consider my cap doffed!
          God keep me here, on bendèd knee,
          Prime Minister, I find all things in thee!
          Prime Minister, I find all things – in – thee!

          • Apparently you have the impresson that Mr harper is a god,you even took the time to write a song about him, good try my friend, but you can be sure he will disappoint you. A fan yes I am, but I also know he’s just a man.

    • And, given free reign, he will lead us down a road well paved with these good intentions.

      (and every single new president visits Canada first. it’s routine if he does, huge snub if he doesn’t).

      • I don’t think anything Mr Obama will be doing in the next while will be because of ‘routine’ he see’s the truth in Mr Harper. and I just can’t see him coming here first if Mr. Marten was still running things , can you?

        • yes. absolutely. regardless of what i – or he – may have thought of martin.

          • Than I guest we’ll have to agree to disagree

  5. Heard some young CPC staffers bragging at Hooleys tonight about Peter Mackay being granted the head of NATO. Canada to have a new defense minister? We will find out this week!

    • Since when did NATO join the boy scouts.

  6. Harper’s ‘wiggle room’ is in the phrase ‘end of combat operations’. This doesn’t mean Canadian troops are coming home, just moved to the role of ‘police’ in some other more quiet (for the moment) province.
    Mr. Harper’s love of all things american is well-documented, and in the late 90s he was all for the closest ties possible. But this financial crisis has revealed that the americans are all ideology and little common sense…our trade dependence is an indictment of Canada’s inability to see beyond the US and to act upon the golden opportunity we now have to become true economic masters of our own house. When times are good, the government declares ‘we can’t change now’, and when times are bad they also declare ‘we can’t change now’. We need a government that will finally say to the US ‘if it’s no good for us, forget it.’ Believe me, Obama will be america first and nothing else…there’s never been much ‘warm, fuzzy and sentimental’ between us and the US when it comes to trade, so don’t expect it now.