Harper: Canada will be out of Afghanistan in 2011

PM sticks to withdraw date

Amidst calls from NATO’s commander for more resources, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised on Monday that Canada will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011. “I was very clear in my meetings in the United States last week that that remains Canada’s plan,” Harper explained. The PM also discussed the need for Afghan forces to take control of their own security: “I think in this time frame we’ve just got to see some results from the Afghan government on the ground.” That pledge came just one day after a report by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who commands U.S. and NATO forces, was published by the Washington Post. The 66-page report stresses the need for a new Afghan strategy, in addition to improved resources. “Resources will not win this war,” McChrystal said. “But under-resourcing could lose it.” Without those changes, the General added, NATO “risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible. Still, Harper is committed to relieving the more than 2,800 Canadians currently serving under NATO in Afghanistan. In preparation, he says, more Canadian resources will be shifted away from security–and moved into development and humanitarian aid.


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