Oct 07 2009

On Afghanistan, It’s As True Now As It Was Then

If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban or allows Al Queda to go unchallenged, that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

As President, my greatest responsibility is to protect the American people. We are not in Afghanistan to control that country or to dictate its future. We are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States, our friends and our allies And the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have suffered the most at the hands of violent extremists.

Those were US President Barack Obama’s words in March. The same conditions still apply in Afghanistan today.

Canada’s and our allies’ response to the challenge of Afghanistan needs no new justification, either. As John Manley put it:

Our presence in Afghanistan is fully justified whether considered from the point of view of international law, humanitarian needs, or Canadian and global interests in security. If we’re not willing to lend our military resources when asked to so by the United Nations, in a mission coordinated by NATO, in a country whose democratically elected government wants us, and whose citizens desperately need us, then we wonder: where and when would Canada do so?

We’re at war against an irredeemable enemy. No more new arguments are needed. We don’t need fine speeches. We know what needs to be done. Let’s get on with it.

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