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News :: War and Militarism
Canadian PM says NO to extending Afghan combat mission
11 Jul 2007
Canadian PM Harper said he has no desire to prolong Canada’s combat mission in southern Afghanistan beyond 2009
When asked whether he has any desire to prolong the combat mission in southern Afghanistan beyond 2009, Prime Minister Harper said: "No."

"I think Canadians are expecting that if we're in Afghanistan after 2009, it would be a new mission. Canadians have been fairly clear that if we were to be in after 2009, that they would expect our participation to evolve in some way."
"The truth of the matter is NATO still is not putting in near the amount of forces that are necessary to really bring permanent stability to Afghanistan. Canadians have been clear they want to see a more equitable burden-sharing in Afghanistan."

Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre said Harper is lying to Canadians when he suggests his government won't continue its combat role beyond February 2009. The prime minister, he argued, is only selling the message to woo voters.

David Bercuson, director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, said Harper would almost certainly extend the mission if he had a majority government.
"He's clearly feeling a lot of heat from the public opinion polls. If he's asking himself what's more important -- that I maintain governance or that I get approval for a combat mission, then a combat mission is coming second."
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