Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We Cannot Be In Afghanistan Forever

What is our mission in Afghanistan? Is it to eradicate the remnants of local militants and insurgents, to train and strengthen the local security forces, and to leave once democracy takes root? Sounds an awful lot like another country in the news.

We have been there since 2001. What have we been doing till now, that while it cannot be finished by February, will be done in two more years? We cannot remain there indefinitely, everyone agrees. The government of Canada should provide a timetable to Members of Parliament as to what the military has accomplished so far and what we hope to do in two years, as well as what will be our benchmark for exiting the country.

We cannot just say "we have to be there until the job is done". How do we measure if the 'job' is 'done'? What are the benchmarks, the qualifiers, the indicators that our job is being done?

The Liberal Party of Canada should not vote to extend the mission for two years carte blanche. We should extend it for a year only, and another year provisionally. We cannot be in Afghanistan for 'decades'.

UPDATE: Joe Volpe is the first to officially state his views on our Afghan mission. (h/t: TLLC)



EX-NDIP said...

Why not just phone the Taliban and ask them when they would like us to leave???????
You Lefties are soooo stuckonstupid . . . the time to leave is when the job is done . . . sooo un-liberal
It took 8 years after WWII to restructure Japan.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Harper sets a Bushian trap for Bloc, NDP and LPC on Afghanistan.

Remember Iraq? The lead up to the declaration of war by Bush? The pressure-cooker atmosphere created by Bush, to stampede the Democrats into voting for the war?

And remember how he succeeded, by putting the heat on and not giving them much time to reflect or debate the issue?

Harper is doing the same thing right now. By rushing the vote on Afghanistan, he is hoping to stampede those 3 parties into voting for the extension of the term, without much sober reflection on the aims, exit strategy, total commitment required etc.

Then, when Canadian deaths increase, he can say the other parties voted for the extension. It will undercut their moral right to question the role of Canada in Afghanistan.

Clever man, Harper. Copies Bush on most things, including how to out-snooker your opponents...

And in Canada. The peacekeepers of the world.

How sad.

Anonymous said...

If the Libs support the extension....I am changing my longtime liberal vote to ndp...it is time to bring them home...this last course was changed when the usa pulled out and hillier took it on.The Tory biased Dominion Institute said bring them home...poll today at noon till six on cp 24...5600 bring them home...980 extend their stay.

mezba said...

@Ex-NDP: Again you say 'the time to leave is when the job is done'.
Did you read the post fully or do you just hit the 'post a comment' button as you troll all Liberal blogs? What is the 'job'? How will you know it is 'done'?

@Curiosity: the exact thought occured to me - the opposition is being hoodwinked into a quickvote over a long term disaster.

@Anon: Do you know the telephone number for the poll? there is one on their website but thats a web poll.

Manitoba Liberal said...

I supported the Liberal Party when we commited to the dangerous Afghan mission that Harper has inherited and I support the extension of the mission for another two years as long as it countinues to be supported by NATO and our allies.

As for how long we will be there, I think we need to look at the 30+ years we had forces in the Golan Heights and Cyprus to get an idea of the committment it is going to take in Afghanistan. That is not to say that we have to have such a large amount of troops for decades, I would not support that, but I do think that Canada and the international community needs to be prepared for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are you talking about? If you say they've not done the job that they've been doing since 2001, and you say that they can't continue to do the job they've not done for another two years, why don't they just leave the country altogether?

2 years or 1 year.. that shouldn't even be the question. The question is whether or not they're capable of doing a job under the current mandate and whether the Afghans appreciate the current mandate. The answer to both is no.