September 19, 2007

Canada Ponders an Afghan Quagmire

Canada faces renewed uncertainty in Afghanistan, with the death of more than 60 Canadian troops and new pressures on its humanitarian mission there.

Under pressure from a dispirited public to withdraw troops, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would end its combat mission in February 2009 unless parliament votes otherwise.

Harper is now seeking a consensus vote to extend the mission; the Canadian Press reports that “‘consensus’ means 50 percent plus one MP in a parliamentary vote.”

Fearful of losing one of its greatest assets in Afghanistan (Canada has 2,500 troops in Kandahar alone) British and Polish NATO officials are calling for “strategic patience” at a crucial time for security there, reports the CanWest News Service.

Canadians, however, seem to be out of patience.

The Times Colonist in British Columbia reported that protestors at an anti-NATO rally last week accused officials of “war crimes” for the bombing of Afghan civilians.

Canada’s $1.45 billion humanitarian mission in Afghanistan also faces major obstacles, according to the United Nations news service.

Violence in southern Afghanistan has eliminated Canadian medical workers’ access to five provinces, and Canada’s reconstruction team, which took over from American efforts in Kandahar in 2005, cannot rebuild the thousands of homes it has committed to.

The Canadian aid program has also come under sharp criticism from a British think tank for the way it funnels its money directly into the Afghan government’s coffers to do with as it pleases.

The report said millions of dollars are being wasted this way.

Sources:

“Protesters take on NATO generals”
Times Colonist (Canada), September 9, 2007

“Harper wants troops to ‘finish job’ in Afghanistan; dims hope for quick vote”
Canadian Press, September 9, 2007

“Canadian exit from Afghanistan would be sorely missed, top officer says”
CanWest News Service, September 10, 2007
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=a2712537-ccfe-440b-bfb1-fab971d463fe&p=1

“Afghanistan: Canadians and Kandaharis differ on security and development”
Integrated Regional Information Networks (United Nations), September 9, 2007

One thought on “Canada Ponders an Afghan Quagmire

  1. Humanitarian mission!

    What is this P.C. propaganda? This is a SLANTED story…doesn´t anybody GET IT?

    Who paid for this story…or who does this author work for? Follow the money, baby!

    Our guys…whom I support fully in their ´chosen´work…are not ´humanitarian´ they are sodiersd, trained to FIGHT and prpud of thet. Why not? BUT…. they are serving the the BUSH regime, because our government is too damned spineless to say ´NO´…to Uncle Sam!

    Get it ?

    Support our girls and boys in uniform…bring them back from this ill concieved mission…CANADa´S hard won reputation for fair mindedness is in tatters!

    This CLOWN , to the south of our border will be gone soon….but our Canadian boys and girls will still be paying the price for his OIL buddies!
    All you flabby arsed warriors, with big mouths….leave your cushy life NOW…so you too can kick in Afghani peasent doors, in your moronic dark shades, in the name of DEMOCRACY!

    Maybe, you too, will pay the price, so may of our fine young people have.,,,

    But, of course, that won´t happen….you´re too clever for that….no doubt you´ll vote for Ignatief…an intellectual, with shit for brains. My suggestion is we send him to
    Afghanistan, not on a fact finding mission, but with our troops, on the front line for a minimum of twelve months. If he survives, perhaps he will be worth listening to.