Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another Random Date

March 2014.  That is when the Canadian training mission will certainly end.  Unless it does not.

Actually, my favorite part of the NATO announcements thus far:
"We love Canada in Georgia, not only in Georgia, but in the whole region, and not only because it's a great country but it has been paying great attention to our region," Saakashvili said. "It has been outspoken in defence of values and it's a great ally in Afghanistan.
"You know we are the second biggest per capita contributors to Afghanistan in terms of numbers of troops. We have no caveats and we are fighting alongside the Americans, Canadians, with British and we are willing to stay there until the mission is accomplished."
Um, the Canadians don't care about caveats anymore, Mr. Georgia.  Now that their next deployment will face more restrictions than nearly anyone else, the days of Canada haranguing its allies to reduce their caveats are over.  But it does verify a basic intuition--those that need NATO the most do seem to be more likely to have fewer restrictions--Poland, for instance.

This also raises a basic research challenge--the challenge of studying something that is still in progress.  Afghanistan keeps changing, and I have to submit a final draft of the Dave and Steve ISQ piece for publication.  When do I stop the clock and not address recent events?  My excuse for choosing 2009 as an end point is that our reviewers did not get a chance to see any discussion of more recent events, so updating now too much after the reviews are in would be wrong, right? 

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