It would also have been unwise to shuffle Peter MacKay, the Minister of National Defence, to another cabinet post in the middle of a war. Doing so would have indicated to our enemies in Afghanistan that this government is having doubts about its war policy, which is not the case at all.
— Lorne Gunter, yesterday
In 200 words or less, explain our war policy!
Snarky answers are inevitable, but I’d really like to see commenters give an honest attempt at describing Stephen Harper’s Afghanistan policy. I ask because that table of diplomats I addressed on Thursday was kind of… astonished by what they heard from the Prime Minister during the election campaign. And they weren’t the only ones.
UPDATE: Some reading to set the context. “Unfortunately, the planned surge of three American brigades is not enough. The real, though unspoken, number of troops necessary is around three divisions.” Which is to say, triple the planned surge, or an injection of new forces that would roughly double ISAF’s current deployment.
UPDATER: From the same Brookings op-ed: “In fact, Mullah Omar recently stated that the only matter for negotiations is the terms of NATO withdrawal. But this Taliban central goal of all foreign troops out needs to remain unacceptable: to avoid further feeding the global salafist ego of running the infidels out and at minimum, to preserve the necessary means to disrupt the extremely dangerous al Qaeda safehavens in the region.”
Note that Mullah Omar’s key demand closely resembles the policy Stephen Harper announced during the election campaign. I am not being disingenuous when I say I’m certain that’s a coincidence. Nasty coincidence, though.