Got you there, MacKay. Granted, if people were paying attention, they’d know this has been your position for some time:
October 1, 2009
The Conservative government is being asked to clarify its position on whether Canada will remain at war in Afghanistan after Parliament’s deadline passes to pull out combat troops.
Questions arose after Defence Minister Peter MacKay said on Tuesday that the government was considering whether Canada’s 300 soldier reconstruction team, called PRT, could remain in Kandahar after 2011.
But he appeared to add to the confusion on Wednesday when he refused to rule out the possibility of the Canadian military training teams remaining in Kandahar.
“Well there’s been no decision taken on that,” he said.
In March 2008, the parliamentary motion agreed to by the Conservatives called on the government to “end its presence in Kandahar as of July, 2011.” It did not make concessions for leaving any troops behind.
During question period in the House of Commons, Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae pressed the government to clarify its position.
“Are you sticking to the motion that was passed by the House in March of 2008?”
Foreign Affairs Minster Lawrence Cannon responded that “we are putting an end to our military combat mission by 2011 and that is clear.”
The confusion seems to centre on the word ‘combat’ and whether troops that secure development workers or train Afghan soldiers and police officers, fall under that category.
But military historian Jack Granatstein, a senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, said he believes they do.
“They go out on operations, the mentors go into the field with Afghan battalions, and they fight alongside them, the police mentors are with the police and the police are under what seems likes almost constant fire.”
Granatstein said the parliamentary motion is a little less than definitive and that the government likely believes those Canadian trainers and the troops who provide security for development are exempt from the motion.
“So there’s simply no doubt that if we leave troops there, although they may not, in quotes, be combat troops, they will nonetheless be in the line of enemy fire,” Granatstein said. He said the confusion around the future of the mission needs to be cleared up.
Source | See Also under Afghanistan: Obama considers new strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan | US braced for surge of protest over war in Afghanistan | Federal court limits Afghan detainee torture probe | U.S. commander warns of failure in Afghanistan, calls for more troops | Canada, at war, to urge peace for everyone else during Olympics | Body of 130th soldier killed in Afghanistan comes home | EU observers say a third of Karzai’s votes might be suspect due to fraud | ‘Regrettable’ if Canada quits Afghanistan: Chertoff | Top US commander signals troop increase in Afghanistan | Canada sees worsening security in Afghanistan | Canadian media watched closely in Afghanistan | In wake of 9/11, ‘War on Terror’ spawned more terrorism | NATO pledges probe of deadly Afghan air strike; civilians killed | Supreme Court to hear government’s appeal of Khadr case | UK: Brown defends Afghan campaign in wake of aide’s resignation | Obama’s effort in Afghanistan ‘just beginning’: U.S. defence secretary | Afghanistan Drug Raid Snares Border Police Commander | Afghanistan’s Hidden Heroin Addicts | Afghan vote called ‘mockery’ | Olympics push army to edge | Ottawa to appeal Khadr ruling to top court | Accusations over Afghan vote rigging | Selling Canada on Afghanistan | Canada should stay in Afghanistan: NATO head | Has Karzai overstayed his welcome? | U.S. military seeks ’second surge’ for Afghan mission | A Sibel Edmonds Bombshell – Bin Laden Worked for U.S. Until 9/11 | Britain and US prepared to open talks with the Taliban | UK PM Gordon Brown plans troop surge in Afghanistan | Military to get $5B for armoured vehicles | Taliban flee new U.S. drive in Afghanistan | Afghan Airstrike Video Goes Down the Memory Hole | New Afghan mission commander vows to protect civilians | Homing chips are CIA’s latest weapon against ‘al-Qaida’ targets hiding in Pakistan’s tribal belt | Skepticism greets launch of Afghan detainee inquiry | Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Afghan detainee torture case | US arms sent to Afghan forces ‘in Taliban hands’ | MacKay to discuss security concerns with Pakistan | New US brigade ‘bringing in plenty of firepower’ to Afghanistan | Canadian Forces: Worries about child abuse by Afghan allies ‘unfounded’ | CIA: Our Drones are Killing Terrorists. Promise. | US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians | Afghan President Karzai registers for re-election, picks warlord as running mate | U.S. troops will have big impact on Afghan mission: Canadian commander | PM must press U.S. for Khadr’s return from Guantanamo, court rules | Afghan front lines take mental toll on military and RCMP | NATO denies air strike killed Afghan civilians | Khadr’s military lawyer reinstated | NATO agrees to Afghan troop increase | Pentagon fires Omar Khadr’s lawyer | Afghan rape law spurs anger | Obama adds another brigade to Afghanistan troop surge | UK Anti-war MP banned from Canada | Afghanistan needs 4,000 extra soldiers for elections: NATO | Supporters defy law, buy plane ticket for Montrealer stuck in Sudan | Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says | Cost of Afghan mission jumps to $11.3-billion | Afghanistan victory unlikely, says DND manual | Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners | New Canadian commander in Afghanistan welcomes U.S. troop influx | Canadian troops could soon target Afghan drug trade: top soldier | Tories seek extra $331-million for Afghan mission | Obama eyes 3 more brigades for Afghanistan | United States’ short-term goals hurt Afghanistan mission: report | ‘Abusive’ coalition raids stoking anger in Afghanistan: report | Canada ‘not onboard’ with U.S. plan to arm Afghan militias | Top U.S. general boosts troop pledge to Afghanistan | Reports reveal concerns over drug use among Canadian military | Brown: British military to withdraw from Iraq, to ’share burden’ in Afghanistan | Canadian Junior Hockey team gets ‘military training’ | Khadr, interred in rubble, couldn’t have thrown grenade in firefight: Evidence | Afghan war boosts recruiting | 3 new deaths in Afghanistan push Canadian toll to 101 | CFR-Brookings to Dominate Obama Strategy | Afghan government sacks Kandahar governor | Obama’s planned troop surge in Afghanistan could lead to more violence: ISAF | Military to probe response to sex charges | US General David Petraeus to take CENTCOM helm for Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan | ‘Reconstruction’ efforts in Khandahar not apparent to Afghanis | Peace activists demand Canada leave Afghanistan | NATO to let troops fight Afghan drug lords | US faces downward spiral in Afghan war, says leaked intelligence report | Afghan mission cost: up to $18B | Delta Force Officer: We Weren’t Allowed to Kill Osama Bin Laden | Victory impossible in Afghanistan: senior British commander | Defiant military watchdog widens detainee hearings | ‘Some’ Troops to stay in Afghanistan past 2011: McKay | CSIS faces review in Khadr case | Blackwater-linked firm to train Canadian troops | Canadian troops continue gearing up, to receive US counter-insurgency training | Asia’s new ‘great game’ is all about pipelines | MacKay dismisses Taliban threat as ‘propaganda’ | Controversial Kandahar governor replaced | America to assume command in Afghanistan | Canadian military acquiring new helicopters, drones | Low Level Driver Convicted Of Terror Charges While Bin Laden’s Senior Body Guard Was Let Go | Afghani Narco-state Continues to Blossom under Puppet President | Protesters push for Omar Khadr’s release | Obama promises 10,000 more troops for Afghanistan | Afghanistan suggests Pakistan responsible for embassy bombing | Canadian, NATO forces stood down during Afghan jailbreak | Canadian military silent on Afghan civilian deaths: UN investigator | US Counterinsurgency Manual Leaked, Calls for False Flag Operations, Suspension of Human Rights | Report: U.S. Gave Green Light For Taliban Prison Attack | Don’t look, don’t tell, troops told in response to Afghani child abuse | Post-traumatic stress disorder’s hidden scars | Over 100 complaints about access to govt. info on Afghan mission: report | Canada sets up new military spy unit | Bid to Block Afghan Detainee Inquiry Slammed | Army begins using $150,000 artillery shells | FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report | Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts | 9/11 widows call for new investigation after revelations of White House, commission ties | Director of 9/11 commission “secretly spoke with Rove, White House” | Eight U.S. State Department Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11 | Twenty-five U.S. Military Officers Challenge Official Account of 9/11 | Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside Job | Afghan poll not as clear as it seems | 9/11 – the big cover-up? | New Bin Laden Video: 100% Forgery | What Ottawa doesn’t want you to know: Government was told detainees faced ‘extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial’ | The Lies that Led to War | U.S. Government Caught Red-Handed Releasing Staged Al-Qaeda Videos | US Allowed Taliban, Al-Qaeda Airlift Evacuation