Thursday, August 31, 2006

Layton Goes Beyond Kennedy

Jack Layton calls for pullout in February:
NDP Leader Jack Layton says Canada should pull its troops out of Afghanistan by February...

It has no clear goals, no exit strategy and no criteria to judge success, he said at a news conference Thursday.

"This is not the right mission for Canada," he said. "There is no balance. In particular, it lacks a comprehensive rebuilding plan and commensurate development assistance."

The focus in Afghanistan has changed from reconstruction to open war and Canada should have no part of it, he said.

"Stephen Harper wants to take Canada in the wrong direction."

The timing of Layton's new position is curious. You could speculate Layton is trying to outflank the Liberals from the left. While Kennedy demands a re-focus, Layton advocates a immediate withdrawal- period. February seems somewhat unrealistic, given our commitments and the logistics involved. Layton's call could well provide some cover for Kennedy's position, in that his view now looks relatively benign. The suggestion of an eventual pullout, predicated on conditions, is far different from declaring the mission lost and immediately leaving. I tend to see Kennedy's view as prudent, while Layton seems to allow for the "cut and run" criticism. Layton's new position smells of grandstanding and political gamesmanship (i'm shocked!), but it is useful in that it changes the tone of the debate.


It looks as if Canadian forces are planning a Fallujah like offensive in Afghanistan. Telling villagers to evacuate translates into big munitions, razed towns and widespread destruction.


Koby said...

At the best of times 20,000 NATO troops are going to find it hard to control a population 30 million in country that is larger than France. Throw in an insurgency, a safe haven inside a neighboring country and the fact that those 20,000 troops are dedicated to destroying the country’s only viable industry (opium production is over 50 of GDP) and you have doomed mission.

As for putting more resources, it is simply not going to happen. The political will is not there, not in Canada and not in Europe. Besides the amount of money the Canada and other countries are spending is hardly chum change. Canada is spending more in Afghanistan on a per year basis than the Liberals planned to spend on child care.

Bravo Jack

Anonymous said...

It's finally good to see someone stand up for what is right. Go Jack!

Anonymous said...

What on earth is good about Jack's stand of abandonment?! It is clear by Jack's own words that he is not even bothering with the press releases, let alone DND briefs as to what is going on in Afghanistan.

For the last note, the warning does not equate razed villages, unless you can prove otherwise, it is a pretty silly statement to make. The warning was more for the villagers, in an effort to limit collateral damage... We have not destroyed villages, and any collateral damage we do cause, we go back and repair after the fact.

It saddens me that so many people wish Afghans to be ruled once again be theives, thugs, and murderers (which is how one acdcuratly discribes the Taliban pre-invasion). But alas, I know only to well the laziness, apathy, and ignorance of the average Canadian limits one's ability to make informed decisions on such a subject.

Steve V said...

"The warning was more for the villagers, in an effort to limit collateral damage... We have not destroyed villages, and any collateral damage we do cause, we go back and repair after the fact."

The same was said in Fallujah, why the problem with the analogy? The military also said they planned to keep a presence after the operation, again a tactic used in Iraq. You don't tell villagers to leave unless you are bringing in massive munitions.