IS CANADA’S AFGHAN MISSION FAIR?

This week three French-Canadian soldiers from the Vandoos regiment were killed in Afghanistan. This brings to 69 the number of Canadians killed in that mission and it sent support for the war in Quebec, already low, plunging further.

Which begs the further question, Is what is happening in Afghanistan fair to Canada? The fact is that Canada’s killed-in-action rate is three times as high as the British rate and four times the American level. Furthermore other countries, notably Germany, Spain and Italy have sent troops to Afghanistan but keep them far from the fighting in the relatively quiet north of the country. As a result these countries have suffered very few casualties.

It is clear that Canada is carrying an unfair share of the load in terms of troops in harm’s way. At the very least it is time for other NATO countries to step up in terms of burden sharing.

These facts on the ground are reflected in the poll numbers. More than two-thirds of Quebecers are opposed to sending troops to Afghanistan. Now that our troops are there an equal number of Quebecers say the troops should come home before February, 2009.

Do you agree Canada is carrying an unfair burden in Afghanistan?

Do you think the troops should come home before February, 2009?

4 Comments »

  1. 1

    I think our troops whould never have left Canadian soil for this ‘mission’ in the first place. If we can get people on the moon we can solve political conflict too. That is my belief. Their unneccessary deaths, so young, are morally wrong.

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    Who cares? The job needs to be done: let’s do it.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    It takes a different skill set to get people on the moon than it does to solve long-standing political conflict. Alas, we have more of the former and less of the latter in the West.
    Canada was very proud of itself when it offered to go to Afghanistan instead of sending troops to Iraq. Let’s see Canada use its much-vaunted moral suasion to get the NATO nations to share the more dangerous burden or else it should leave without extending its stay.

  4. 4

    Eleanor – Do you mean we should have used diplomacy. I’m not sure whether we could have negotiated with the Taliban, although some have advocated it.
    Suzanne – At the very least I should think the families and friends of the dead soldiers would care.

    Barbara – Canada is hosting a meeting of NATO commanders in Ottawa at the beginning of September. I expect at that meeting the Harper government will try to get the other NATO nations to share more equitably the danger burden in Afghanistan.


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