Stephen Harper recently indicated that any extension to the afghan mission beyond 2009 would require a new mandate which, I believe, he is unlikely to secure in the House of Commons. On the one hand, for those Canadians who believe Canada should withdraw from the mission, this is good news. On the other hand, I can't help but believe that Harper's public musing may be a disaster for Canadian troops.
First, presuming that the insurgents learn of Canada's wavering commitment, they will likely interpret this as a victory and evidence that their deadly tactics have worked. So do more improvised bombing and Harper will commit to pulling the Canadian troops out. Or, should we expect that the insurgents knowing that Canada is likely leaving after 2009 to back off and allow time to expire with no further bloodshed? I believe that the former is the more likely of the two possibilities.
Second, suppose that you are a Canadian soldier who now has to serve on a mission that is set to expire with few of its goals accomplished. Would you have the stomach to put your life on the line for a mission where you are only there out of contractual obligation?
Given those considerations, I would propose that we do not keep troops in afghanistan to 2009. We get them the hell out of dodge NOW. Harper's musings about the terminal date for the mission convey that the mission has failed so why risk more Canadian lives knowing this is the case? If we have failed, then let's minimize the cost of failure moving forward. Get the soldiers out of harms way and deploy them to something that has meaning. Let the US come back and clean up the mess that they started.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I must be starting to sound like a broken record, but with his recent Wimbledon victory, as I have always said, Federer is the greatest tennis player ever! So don't give me this Emerson or Laver or Borg or Vilas or Pam Shriver as the greatest stuff. Admit that you have not given Federer his due, as I always have, and fess up that you can now see that no player comes close to him.