Jan 13 2010
A decision to walk away from an unfinished war, with all its attendant risks to national interests and dispiriting connotations of retreat and forsaken sacrifices, is only slightly less important than was the decision to enter it in the first place. A decision to go to war or to withdraw ought to be the finale, not the beginning, of a detailed analysis of the consequences in either case.
What do Canadians want for Afghanistan post-2011 and what are we willing to do to achieve it? It’s long past time for Canadians to start talking about these questions.
For example, does a pullout embolden the Taliban and it’s allies, putting Canadians at more risk down the line? What kind of message does it send to our allies if we abandon the field? Why are we talking about pulling everything to meet an arbitrary deadline just when the mission is showing signs of success?
Forget troops-in, troops-out. What does Canada want to achieve? And do we really want to leave our accomplishments thus far to help the Afghan people to the tender mercies of the Taliban, while the Afghan National Army is only now beginning to get to it’s feet as an effective arm of the Afghan government?
These questions can’t be ignored any longer. And it’s long past time that the leaders of the various political parties started showing some leadership on this file.