Sunday, January 27, 2008

Of Bali and Afghanistan

The key recommendation of the Manley report is for the government to demand NATO send 1000 more troops to the Khandahar region or Canada will pick up its ball and go home.

Well good luck. The Europeans would be unwilling to do so because of domestic public opinion. However, even it they could somehow convince their domestic audiences that it is in their interests they would not be really inclined to do so because of Canada's recent actions with regard to climate change.

Officially, diplomats will tell you that there is never any "linkage" between issues in international relations. Afganistan and climate change are different issues and no government would ever consider making an action in one a condition for a consession in the other.

However, we are not just dealing with diplomats here. We are dealing with politicians and governments and the European governments are not all that pleased with the Canadian government right now because of its actions in Bali last year. So there is absolutely no incentive on the part of the European governments to stick their necks out at home to assist Canada in southern Afghanistan.

So do not expect any real assistance from the Europeans to be forthcoming at the NATO summit in April.

Of course the same cannot be said of the US. As several others have pointed out there are already plans to send 3200 marines to the Khandahar region in the coming weeks and some or all of them will eventually be made "permanent". So Stephen Harper will get his 1000 troops and he will use it as an excuse extend the mission.

Again as other have said, it is curious as to why the Manley Report did not mention this.

It could not be because this whole exercise is just to give Mr. Harper political cover when he proposes extending the combat mission to 2011 and beyond is it?


Blogger lance said...

Anything to back up the assertion that Canada's GHG policies are responsible for the European NATO members holding back troops?

Or is this just a "what I'd do if I was Angela Merkel" post?


January 27, 2008 8:02 PM  
Blogger knb said...

lance, I know it's tough, but try to have a large view of world affairs.

Of course there is reaction to what Harper has done on the world stage. To think otherwise is to be Harper...myopic.

ottlib, the US compliment is obvious. No matter who is in power in the States, a shift from the evil mission in Iraq to the virtuous mission in Afghanistan is a given.

If I see this, you know that the panel did. Gawd, I choked today listening to Wallin on QP and hearing that man who should retire, Craig Oliver, suggest that she was a dove.

She is the flipping female image of Rudy for heavens sake. I do not know where Craig has been but that was the most dishonest and ill informed bit of nonsense that I have seen for a while. A short while, :).

Plying this message is so completely obvious. Are Canadians really this stupid?

January 27, 2008 8:37 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...


Common sense. There is never any official "linkage" but at the same time no decision is ever taken in a vacuum.

No European government will be in any mood to defy public opinion at home to help out a Canadian government that worked so hard to work against European goals at the Bali talks.

If you believe otherwise Lance then you are living in a Conservative dream world.

January 27, 2008 9:23 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...


I believe the American mission in Afghanistan will end soon after the one in Iraq ends.

I blogged about it a few months ago. American public opinion is quickly turning against American adventures overseas and I suspect that if a Democrat wins the White House we will see a retrenchment.

January 27, 2008 9:26 PM  
Blogger lance said...

knb, I appreciate you clarifying that this is a "pulled from the hat" post.

Regarding my world view and while also trying to stay on topic, please provide me the names of the European countries that are planning to meet Kyoto I and it's deadlines.

Bali and the non-existent Kyoto II were/are simply extended deadlines with a new name so that the European slackers can continue their rhetoric while claiming that something is getting done.

NATO will be coughing up more soldiers.


January 27, 2008 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lance, I see you are too stupid to Google...
Sweden and the United Kingdom are doing quite well with their targets. Other countries are struggling but most Eastern European countries are on target.

It's funny how the U.S. had a surge of 50 000 soldiers to 550 000 in Vietnam and still badly loss in there.

Odd to think that 1000 more will make a difference. How fucking delusional are the war mongers?

January 27, 2008 10:52 PM  

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