SHOULD CANADA EXTEND ITS PARTICIPATION IN THE AFGHAN WAR?

Stephen Harper  is leaving the door open to extending Canada’s military participation in the costly Afghan war.  He told the Commons this week that all options are still on the table including extending our stay beyond 2014.  We now have 950 military personnell in Afghanistan mostly engaged in helping train Afghan security.

Canadian taxpayers’ bill for the conflict is expected to exceed $14 billion dollars.  So far Canada has suffered 158  fatalities and 635 wounded.

Even if we stay is Afghanistan likely to emerge from this conflict a peaceful country?

Should Canada extend its military participation  in the Afghan war?

What do you think?

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19 Comments »

  1. 1
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    No, definitely not. We have wasted enough lives on that country! The Taliban is still very popular – the Afghan people do not want western democracy – so let them get on with their ways. Any threat from terrorists can be dealt with through intelligence and strategic strikes.
    I struggle to understand what we are doing there, unless there is another publicly unsaid reason – say, keeping China out.

  2. 2
    Janus Bellator Says:

    We need to get out and stay out. We never should have been there in the first place. And I think we would not have been there if we had not been invited by one of the warring factions or other.

  3. 3

    I agree with both comments above.
    Get out. Stay out!
    If I thought there was a modicum of chance of changing lives there, I would say otherwise. I believe that if these countries want change, they should get out and fight for it themselves. Women should rise up and kill their murderous, demented, abusive, Taliban husbands.
    Change must come from the inside out.
    We need to be investing all that money in our own security, because our country is under attack on all fronts by those very same people we’ve been trying to help for years. It’s a travesty…

  4. 4

    BTW: “Keep China out”?…that may improve the situation there. The Russians tried to tame Afghanistan for years, at a bitter cost.

  5. 5
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    If China were to control Afganistan, this would be quite unsettling locally for..umm..India (big geo-political opponent of China), less so for Pakistan. A lot of nuclear weapons in play here!

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:

    How do yo u thinki the international community would have viewed Canada if we had refused to help out in Afghanistan?

  7. 7
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    Yeah, I see what you’re getting at, Neil.
    But…at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the int’l community thinks – after all the seal hunt damages the Canadian reputation in a big way, but we live with it.
    Canada is so wealthy, and has so much soft power, that it can afford to stand aloof from these quasi-imperial wars.
    Thank heavens we didn’t join in the hideous Iraq war!

  8. 8

    Neil: I think we were bullied into the Afghan war. We said no to Iraq, and that was such a relief, and made a token commitment to Afghanistan. It turned out to be more than we thought.
    There are many countries in the world that don’t “step up”. We are 34 million small & strong, and maintain more than our fair share.
    I’ve gotten to a “like it or lump it” attitude about outside opinion, it’s a no-win situation, trying to please world opinion and we’ve lost too many young people to that useless war.
    Peter, I get the point about so much nuclear strength in that neighbourhood, but I think those countries will eventually run amok, against each other, it’s just a question of time.

  9. 9
    Jim Says:

    Are we not forgetting that Canada belongs to a club, an “all for one and one for all” club, namely the United Nations? When we are called to arms under their sanction, we go. If we call for help because the Russians are coming over the Pole, they come. If we can’t stand the heat, as Harry said, get out of the kitchen.

  10. 10
    Janus Bellator Says:

    Oh, good…let’s get out of the damned kitchen!

  11. 11

    Jim, it would be worth your while to climb out of the 50’s & 60’s.The Russians are no longer likely to come over the pole. All the Radar Bases, Strategic Air Command & Beaumark Missell stations are dismantled. Canada has never been in real danger of invasion, only by the proximity to the USA.
    AND, I think the UN still votes on various issues.
    The 3rd WW is being fought in countries like Afghanistan & Iraq (?) Syria, Libya, and African countries which we have thus far ignored. Future hot spots are Korea & Pakistan!
    We need to stop exacerbating the situation by trying to enforce Juedo-Christian democracy on countries that are otherwise “faith based” (I use that term loosely) that they have no room for humanity &/or democracy.

    Your friend, “Harry” bombed Hiroshima, an act that has been debated for 60+ years…He got out of the kitchen in the worst possible way!

  12. 12
    Peter Westenhangar Says:

    Jim:
    Just because Canada is a member of the United Nations does not mean we were obliged to get involved in the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan. After all, even Iraq and Afghanistan are members of the UN.
    I think you meant NATO. Not sure if we were obliged to join in on the invasion of Afghanistan because of that – have tried in vain to find out on Wikipedia but no luck so far!!

  13. 13
    Barbara Says:

    Didn’t Chretien make a deal with Bush that, in lieu of not participating in Iran, that Canada would contribute to the fighting in Afghanistan? It was a pretty canny deal, but you have to follow through on your word.

  14. 14
    Janus Bellator Says:

    So let Chretien go to Afghanistan. And he can take Bush with him.

  15. 15

    The initial attack on Afghanistan back in 2001-2 was justified; the Taliban, then in charge of Afghanistan, had sheltered Bin Laden and Al Qaida which was responsible for 9-11.

    But this whole idea of attacking a country, occupying it, and installing “democracy” as the Allies had so successfully done at the end of WWII in Germany and Japan simply is no longer warranted: expensive and too intrusive. I heard a statistic a few years ago that it cost the U.S. $1 million per soldier per year to occupy Afghanistan! Well, who has the money for that when the country is so much in debt!

    Same with Iraq.

    I say: if a country has done you wrong, go ahead and bomb the poop out of them and teach them the lesson they deserve. But leave it at that. This whole nation-building in the image of Western Democracies is a model that doesn’t work and simply is not a viable working model.

    Let’s get out of Afghanistan.

  16. 16
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Janus Bellator,
    this time I agree with you to send Chretien and Bush to Aghfanistan

  17. 17

    Well…that’s it then! We all agree. “So it is said, so it will be done”.

  18. 18

    Heidi,

    Why just Chretien and Bush?

    Obama ran on a platform of support for the Afghanistan War and in the time he has been president, more Americans have been killed there than in the entire time under Bush. Indeed, Obama has been solely responsible for the “surge” in Afghanistan.

    So why didn’t you include the Nobel Peace Prize winner?

  19. 19
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Tony,
    all I wanted to say that the people responsible should personally be responsible,
    We probably would have much fewer wars.


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