The question of 2011


Peter MacKay ventures that Canadian troops will be in Afghanistan after 2011.

Canada’s troops will stay in Afghanistan even after the combat mission ends in 2011, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the House of Commons defence committee Thursday in Ottawa.

It is the second time in as many weeks that MacKay has raised the issue, which appears to contradict repeated statements by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Canada will pull its troops out of Afghanistan by 2011.

John Geddes’ analysis is once more relevant.


The question of 2011

  1. Not a change, no matter how hard yah try,
    one year ago
    September 14, 2008

    ''He added that Canadians would
    continue to be engaged in
    rebuilding Afghanistan after the
    combat mission ends.
    "We will … be there, and the role
    will change," he said, "We'll emphasize the humanitarian aspect, continue with training, continue with
    our people there that are both with the domestic police and maybe on the military side to build …

    2011 likely means change, not end to Afghan mission

  2. I notice that you neglected to mention that MacKay said the Tories would honour the current direction of parliament until a new motion on Afghanistan is voted on, meaning that Geddes' chief (and relevant) concern is going to be addressed.

    I can see how you would miss it at all, given that it falls just outside the paragraphs you chose to quote.

  3. If our troops stay but don't take part in combat, are they still combat troops?

    Sounds like he's suggesting they aren't, which is a perfectly legitimate argument, if a little semantic. In any case, I'm with Geddes – the place to be making these arguments is in the House, because the debate is incomplete.

    Case in point: whether by "Canada's presence" we are talking about combat troops only, non-combat troops, or all Canadians, the House motion only refers to "Canada's presence in Khandahar."

    This begs a first obvious question: what about the rest of Afghanistan?

  4. The Harper party is getting pretty trite with their script.

    They should have listened to their mothers and learned to stick to the truth.

    All of those little fibs, or white lies are hard to keep track of and come home to haunt.

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