Jack Layton and the NDP’s suggestion that Canada pull our troops out of Afghanistan has provoked cries of “cut and run.” But is it such a dumb idea? The Taliban is now in effective control of almost half the country. The writ of the elected government under Karzai scaceley runs beyond the outskirts of Kabul. There is considerable support for the Taliban in the country’s largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns. Many military experts say we cannot defeat the Taliban in an endless war.
So why not sit down with the Taliban and see whether we can build from what we might have in common. Would there be peace in Northern Ireland today if the British and Irish governments had not sat down with the terrorist IRA? If guns won’t achieve our objectives, why not try diplomacy? Wasn’t it Churchill who said “it’s better to jaw jaw than to war war”?