We are starting to get a few pieces of clarity today on Canada's decision to send trainers to Afghanistan after the combat mission ends. Perhaps the most significant piece is that Defence Minister Peter MacKay and perhaps the Canadian Forces have been on the outside. As the Globe and Mail points out, the major folks making the noises have been Foreign Minister Cannon and Harper's communications guy Dimitri Soudas. While I have interacted with heaps of Canadian military people the past several years, I don't have the type of contacts that will inform me or that I can call to ask about this. My guess is that most of these guys would be keeping their heads down while the civilians fire at each other.
Ignatieff is asking the right questions--if Harper wants Liberal support, he will need to provide some answers. If he wants to go and make the decision without Parliament, that might be within his power. Still, it would be nice if someone really explained this flip-flop thoroughly. While it has not been the focus of my research, my work in a variety of NATO and partner capitols has indicated that leadership, rather than silence, actually works better.
So, I don't really know what is going on, but that appears to be a widely shared experience.