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Opinion: Continued deployment of Cdn military in Afghanistan

A statement by S151 Senator Hugh Segal on the Afghan mission –

Honourary Member RMC Club

Colleagues,

I rise to express the profound hope that the Parliament of Canada, most notably the House of Commons, will see its way clear to modify its resolution of March 13, 2008 and agree to the continued deployment of Canadian humanitarian and military forces in the ongoing engagement in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister is to be commended for staying fast and true to the resolution on end of Kandahar province combat of 2011. But that faithfulness does not negate the need for vision and renewed commitment now.

Afghanistan is a critical theatre in an important war against terrorism which is and remains a scourge on humanity. Canadian troops have spent too much blood and grief and shown too much courage and progress to end the engagement before realistic stability goals are attained. A minority parliament does not justify a failure of will or avoidance of international responsibility.

The nature and mix of our deployment there may change, that is for elected parliamentarians to decide – but Canada’s commitment to fight the pathologies of terrorism in a part of the world where they are most intense must not.

5 Comments

  • John Adamson

    April 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

    First off, It is a pleasure to now know that Senator Hugh Segal is one of us, so to speak. I have been an admirer of his work on behalf on Conservatives and Canadians over the years.

    I agree with Senator Segal’s position on Canada’s continued participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan on condition that our contribution is not out of line with that of other NATO countries. I understand that it has been to this point. If this condition cannot be met, I believe that Canada must then look to its own direct interests to justify continuing in Afghanistan; Reasons I have yet to see.

    As an observer of Canada’s foreign commitments over the past 40 years, too often I have been left feeling that we have been embarassingly naive and ill-prepared to insist on what is in our own best interests. Somalia comes to mind. There are many advantages to having an army in the field. Let’s ensure that these advantages accrue to Canada.

    Finally, as military officer or business manager, one must never use past losses as a justification for the commitment of new blood and treasure. Our soldiers have done Canada proud but that also is no reason for further commitment. Simply put, if the mission does not have a broad base of support within NATO nor offers direct quantifiable benefit to Canada, we should get out in 2011 as originally planned

  • John Whitaker 4806

    April 7, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Fighting terrorism is not a one-dimensional activity. Our troops, along with their NATO and native allies, have done a masterful job in reducing – I repeat reducing – the Taliban threat to Afghanistan. In addition, our aid has improved infrastructure and educational institutions. The fight is not over, will not be over in 2011, nor in 2050. Removing front line troops will be a political decision – that is how democracy works. But, as soon as all fighting troops disappear from the country – no matter when that occurs – the Taliban will return. I believe that is their nature. Whether the Afghan people have both the desire and the strength to resist them, will not depend on how many Taliban are killed in the current conflict. It will depend on their will to become a democratic nation, free of coercive, quasi-religious tyranny. I think any debate on troop removal should centre on how to achieve that goal, not on how long we should leave front line troops there.

  • 3584 Archie Beare

    April 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    It is important to recognize that as/when the Canadian military contribution in Afghanistan ceases, it may also add impetus to the withdrawal of other NATO military participation – much of which is at a “reluctant” state now.

    We need to recognize that the terrorism exemplified by that which originates in regions such as Afghanistan, is an “export commodity” for them. We in Canada could easily become a target.

  • 3586 Norm Kelly

    April 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Based on extensive research of the history of Astan with more current info from Pastun Talib friends ,Cdn footsoldiers and non imbedded journalists ie Harper’s it becomes apparent we are involved in an immoral invasion of Astan and at worst are backing the wrong side . The big first lie is the Pashtun are exporters of terrorism…They are focused on the NATO invaders.. The financiers of the Madrassa’s are the Saudi’s , managers of the the biggest women’s prison in the world. During the cold war the Pastun Talib were the west’s allies against the USSR. Refer to operation Cyclone.. Jimmy Carter’s secret ops to stir up Islamic extremism versus Russia. No one really bought the USA’s lies of WMDs in Iraq.. All of the 9/11ers were Saudis . Karzai’s Gen Daub Daub runs the opium ops , Gen Fahim a Tajek , Karzai’s no 2 and head of security is connected with the murder of thousands of pastun talib in a prior communist government is despised by the Pashtun people. Journalists from der Tagesspiel described his Kabul prison as another Buchenwald . My taliban friends , both of them , are Canadians who are proud of their 5,000 year old warrior code of honour, the Pashtunwali…

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