Monday, November 8, 2010

Canadian Deployment in Afghanistan

Could I be wrong? Could the Harper government be sending 1000 troops to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan army and police?  Apparently, NATO has been leaning on Canada to stick around, and there might just be a desire not to waste all of the political capital earned by the hard fighting the Canadians have done thus far.  The rumors are flying around but seem contradictory, as "Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office, told CBC News there will be Canadian troops in Afghanistan after 2011, though exponentially fewer" suggests much less than 1000.  The math is pretty simple: if there are 2800 Canadians there now, then exponentially fewer means something like 300. 

To be clear, these troops would not be in OMLTs but stay out of harm's way in military bases far from the fighting.  Aside from the occasional rocket attack and perhaps failed effort at the fence, these guys would be pretty safe unless there are convoys from air bases to where the base would be. 

I have been having a twitter conversation with U of Ottawa Prof Phillipe Lagassé as he is thrilled to "I told you so."  Me, I am not so sure yet that this is going to be as big as speculated.  Or even happen.  Much has to happen, and the Harper government seems to be spinning wildly.  

Will be interesting to see what eventually happens.  Lagassé is hoping that Harper does not go through parliament and asserts the Crown's privileges (whatever that means).  He says that would show more guts than seeking a parliamentary vote.  So, I am now thoroughly confused.  I always think that subjecting things to votes and appealing for public support is gutsier.  But perhaps I am just focused on Guts due to last night's Walking Dead.  So, the appropriate question for the Canadian public is this: is Afghanistan an undead defence policy?

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