Tuesday, March 03, 2009

PM's Afstan policy--no change

What Prime Minister Harper said 11 months ago. Good on Norman Spector for this:

--What the Globe reported yesterday on Steve-stan

Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says

this is the first time the Prime Minister has explicitly said defeating the Islamic extremists can't be done.

--What the Globe reported on April 3, 2008

NATO answers Harper's request for troops (Globe, April 3, 2008)

The Prime Minister also told the audience that it was unrealistic to think that foreign forces could defeat Afghan insurgents, so Canada's benchmark for success will instead be to train the country's own armed forces to take over the job of fighting the Taliban.

"We do not believe that the ultimate success on the military side is that NATO will increase troop levels until the point where we snuff out the resistance. That's not realistic," Mr. Harper said.

The problem with his CNN interview was the tone and emphasis (see here and here).

Update: Some more, er, context from Paul at Celestial Junk--using the prime minister's recent session with the Wall St. Journal's editorial board:
Bashing Harper
Upperdate: But one of the usual pundit suspects keeps gnawing the bone:
If we can't win, why stay in Afghanistan?

Thomas Walkom

Stephen Harper now says that Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan can never be defeated. Never.

I find this admission breathtaking. The Prime Minister has hinted before that the war in Afghanistan is far tougher than he once thought. But he has never been so categorical.

And his new position raises the obvious questions: If the Taliban can't be beaten, what are Canadian troops doing in Afghanistan? If the Taliban can't be beaten, why are our soldiers still dying? If the Taliban can't be beaten, why are Canada and its NATO allies encouraging the Afghan government to keep fighting a war that, according to Harper, it may be able to "manage" but can't possibly win?...
None so blind as those who do not read. The piece is Norman Spector's THE COLUMN I’M GLAD I DIDN’T WRITE. Good on Mr Spector again.


Blogger Greg said...

While I agree too much has been made out of Harper's CNN interview, his position is quite different from the one he and his government laid out in 2007. He should have been called on this change last year, but the Liberals were too chicken.


6:23 a.m., March 04, 2009  

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