Friday, October 20, 2006

On unnecessary burdens

While Peter MacKay's presence in the news over the last couple of days has been mostly due to several painful bouts of foot-in-mouth disease, CanWest reports that buried beneath the careless talk came another announcement of yet more Canadian troops being sent into combat in Afghanistan:
Members of the newly formed special forces regiment based at CFB Petawawa, Ont., are heading to Afghanistan as Canada continues to bolster its commitment to the war in the southwest Asian country and the NATO allies are urged to assume more of the military burden there...

Canadian Forces spokesman Maj. Doug Allison said the military will not discuss how many members of the special operations regiment are being sent to Afghanistan or when they will leave for that country.

"We anticipate in the near term that the regiment will make a contribution to the Canadian SOF (special operations force) efforts within Afghanistan," said Allison. "They will take part in the full spectrum of special operations contributing to the overall efforts in Afghanistan."

The deployment of more Canadian troops was revealed as Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay told a roomful of NATO ambassadors that Canada can't keep up its efforts in Afghanistan without more help.
Based on the rest of the article, it's clear that the Cons' consistent record of tossing more and more troops into Afghanistan isn't giving Canada any ability to lead other countries to contribute more. Instead, it's placing more and more of the burden on Canada to no gain for the mission generally, as other countries have the good sense to move their special forces or other troops out of the region. And with Canada paying an ever-higher price for an ever-less-realistic mission, it likely won't take long for Canadians to demand that same good sense from their own government.

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