I been meaning to write about this for weeks now.
Canada's committed mission in Kandahar region of Afghanistan is drawing to a close in 2011. NATO has been begging Canada to stay on. Just like Canada was begging on deaf ears for another country to step up and help out in the region. Nobody did.
Seeing that Canada had very little help, and no clear victory in sight, Canada voted in Parliament to withdraw from Afghanistan 4 years ago. It was put to a timeline rather then trying to meet an impossible goal. The global community knew our plans.
At the November NATO conference Canada was again asked to stay in Afghanistan, if not in a combat role in Kandahar then in "a training role" in Kabul.
If you're not laughing then I guess I'll explain.
When is a war not a war? When it's a police action. The Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Kargil War were all undeclared wars and were called by the more polite euphanism as police actions. We the public caught on to that pretty quick. So the new euphanism is training. Sounds so academic.
Whem Prime Minister Harper first annmounced the possibility of a training mission in Kabul from 2011 to 2014, the opposition was both concerned and outraged. Especially when he said he didn't think it had to be put to a Parliamenbtary vote because in fell within Prime Ministerial discretion. Then Harper said it would be put to a vote in Parliament if that was demanded.
But the outrage and concern fell to support when it was explained this was simply training and there would be no combat role whatsoever. There has been no vote over this in the House of Commons. The opposition seems supportive. How democratic is that?
The thing is we Canadians have been training Afghan police and military for the better part of a decade. Not to mention the high rate of those switching sides after training to join the Taliban who apparantly pay better.
The real question is why they think the Afghanistanis require more training? Another 4 years worth! I'm sure that 13 years is more training then the average Canadian soldier gets.
I'm wondering how many more Taliban and other enemy will be killed/captured during our new training mission. Because we know that some training means teaching from example. But in this case, perhaps all the training might be example based.
The good news is that the deployment will fall from 2500-2850 Canadians to just 900-950. Plus journalists and other non-military. And 2015 seems to be the D-day for most of NATO.