Canada Won’t Leave Afghanistan Next Year

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It was less than a month ago when I explored the soft media push for how awesome it would be for Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan after our Kandahar mission ends next year. That provided good cover for the announcement that we’re now considering just that.

Canada is considering NATO and allied requests to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2011 to conduct non-combat training missions, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Sunday.

Mr. MacKay said the government would likely make a decision in the coming weeks in the run-up to the Nov. 18 NATO leaders’ summit in Portugal.

Mr. MacKay stressed that any such mission would take place out of Kandahar province, where fighting is fiercest and would be “behind the wire” — military parlance for non-combat mission.

via Canada reconsiders post-2011 Afghan military presence: MacKay – The Globe and Mail.

The overall context of this government’s view of the Canadian Forces, which isn’t really all that different from the Liberals’, shows up quite succinctly in Twitter:

Lest we forget: Harper & CPC support war, they do not support troops. #cdnpoli #veterans

via Twitter / @jimbobbysez: Lest we forget: Harper & C ….

In reality, with all the news about our government’s neglect and abuse of veterans and troops, it’s clear that the government is a troop basher and manipulator.

And as we all start wearing our poppies this month, we should do more than find ways of keeping them from falling off. We should walk the talk of supporting our troops.

Whether or not we support the current or any future missions in Afghanistan, Haiti or elsewhere, we owe something to the people who are willing to risk their lives for Canadians, or for whatever mission our politicians send them on. That means respecting their needs, supporting the chronic PTSD, not criminalizing them and acknowledging that as a society we appreciate selfless sacrifice. And as a small symbol of recognition, how about giving veterans more than one week of free civic parking each year.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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9 thoughts on “Canada Won’t Leave Afghanistan Next Year”

  1. Thanks for the mention. Canadians need to wake up to the fact that this government is in it for themselves… and for their war-profiteer friends. War criminal MacKay was employed by weapons manufacturer Thiessen (of Karlheinz Schreiber fame) before becoming a career warmonger. Armchair generals playing their oh-s-fun games with the lives of our sons and daughters.

  2. Is anyone here really surprised? Petey MacKay mused out loud about leaving troops there for over a year now.

    War is big business, particularly during a recession. And Canada is becoming more like the US with each passing day. In this case, they’re not happy unless they’re in conflict with someone. My husband and I know someone who works for the military and he had told us if we were pulling out of Afghanistan, it would have been more than likely to go to Congo.

  3. NATO is a criminal organization and Canada should have left it when the Wall came down, rather than participate in its atrocities of genocide, mass murder, etc.

    We are asleep, politically, as citizens, and we need to protect our country from our government. Fascism is alive and well in Canada,, growing stronger each day and supported by the electorate every election.

    What a mess!

    1. yeah, 17-20 years on, it’s pretty easy to see few compelling reasons to stay in NATO, since it was designed to win the Cold War.

      except for the other muscle-flexing purposes of NATO, which are the reasons we stayed and continue to hide behind our duty to this alliance thing as an excuse for politicians to do what they feel like doing anyway.

      and while we have the advantage of a minority parliament to provide some checks to the excesses of an unencumbered Stephen Harper, i dread what would happen if he had a majority. what would the G20 have looked like if he had those additional seats in the House.

      truly, a mess.

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