Or so says Stephen Harper, apparently.
Harper adopted Manley's call for a continuation of the mission until the insurgency in southern Afghanistan is pacified enabling more training of Afghan security forces and economic development.So here's what I would really like to know. Harper has said that both recommendations [proper equipment for the trips and NATO supplying an additional 1,000 soldiers for the south of Afghanistan] will have to be fulfilled or Canada will not proceed with the mission. That these are essential to our success.
Harper said Canada's long-term continued participation hinges not only on NATO coming up with more troops, but on his own government supplying heavy transport helicopters, and unmanned surveillance drones.
Harper said the Manley report recognizes that there are few options that "essentially you're either in or you're out, and if you're in, you actually have to be in a much bigger way."
"While the case for the Afghan mission is clearly compelling, the decision to allow our young men and women in uniform to continue to be in harm's way demands the responsibility to give them a strong chance of success," Harper said.Show of hands, please. How many think that just reeks BLUFF?
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"Canada has done what it said it would do and more," Harper said. " We now say we need help. If NATO can't come through with that help, then frankly I think NATO's own reputation and future will be in grave jeopardy."
That was my initial response but when I gave it some more thought, I realized that it could be just about perfect, from a political point of view.
IF NATO doesn't pony up, Harper has the perfect 'out'; it won't be his fault, it was simply that we couldn't count on our allies and he stepped forward, brave soul that he is, to protect Canada's sons and daughters.
BUT if the stars somehow align and both troops and equipment materialize, once again he is the 'good guy'. Not only did his government not cut and run, not only did we kept our commitments and honour our dead soldiers by continuing their mission, but at the same time he can make his competition look bad. After all, he, good statesman that he is, appointed a 'blue ribbon' panel, the head of which was one of them, and followed its recommendations. Cue to sing 'O Canada'.
I believe the correct term is 'political expediency".
Mr. Harper, some words of advice.
When you're up, you're up.
And when you're down, you're down.
And when you're only half way up, You're neither up nor down.
Just so you know.