Thursday, April 03, 2008

On conditions

It's not as if there was much doubt that the Cons would find some excuse to extend Canada's combat mission regardless of whether or not the already-dubious Manley recommendations were met. But it's noteworthy that Deceivin's Stephen is now claiming that the extension is a done deal based on little more than wishful thinking when it comes to two of the conditions:
The key conditions laid down by Parliament for keeping Canadian troops in Afghanistan have been fulfilled, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared Thursday...

His statement came half way through a meeting with NATO allies in this former Cold War capital. The certainty of American reinforcements for Kandahar, NATO's approval of a comprehensive political-military plan for the war-ravaged country as well as progress toward acquiring battlefield equipment gave Harper the confidence to state that Canada will remain in Afghanistan.

"Today I can report that we have met these conditions," Harper said...

Canada has made significant progress in getting helicopters and unmanned aerial drones to support Canadian troops operating in southern Afghanistan, he said.
It shouldn't take much effort to notice a significant difference between actually securing helicopters and drones, and merely proclaiming that some "progress" has been made.

And it's worth noting that Harper's stance today can only make it more difficult to finish the acquisition on reasonable terms. After all, without a final declaration that the preconditions "have been met", Canada would have the leverage of pointing out its intention to withdraw its troops if the equipment wasn't secured.

Instead, having already declared that the extension is a done deal, Harper doesn't figure to be willing to face the public embarrassment of rescinding that statement - making it more likely that Canada will end up either taking equipment on less favourable terms, or trying to fudge having met the preconditions at all. Which means that once again, Deceivin' Stephen has subordinated Canada's interests to his personal whims.

No comments:

Post a Comment