This is from the Charlotte Observer. Notice that Wilkins was invited to go to Afghanistan by MacKay! MacKay is sucking up to his American advisors. Of course there is no need to convince MacKay that we ought to stay on and on to be junior partners in US imperialism. It is the Canadian public that needs to be primed and pumped to continue sending our troops to the slaughter.
Wilkins encourages Canada to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2009
By SEANNA ADCOX
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. --The U.S. Ambassador to Canada said Friday he's unsure how the death of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto will affect the Canadian parliament's upcoming vote on troops in Afghanistan.
"It remains to be seen," Ambassador David Wilkins said from his native Greenville after returning from his first trip to Afghanistan. "I think we're all not only expressing regret of a tragic death but concerned about the stability of Pakistan and how that instability, if it turns to instability, affects Afghanistan."
As ambassador, he is encouraging Canadian officials to extend that country's military operations in Afghanistan beyond its current commitment that ends in February 2009. "But we fully understand and appreciate it's up to Canadian elected officials to make that decision," Wilkins said.
He expects the parliament to vote early next year. About 2,500 Canadian troops are in Afghanistan's southern region bordering Pakistan, where former Prime Minister Bhutto was assassinated Thursday. Canadian troops first deployed to the Kandahar area nearly two years ago and there is growing public unease.
Canada, with 73 combat deaths, has suffered higher casualties in Afghanistan than other countries because of their location in an area with high insurgent activity, Wilkins said.
The ambassador left Afghanistan on Wednesday after a three-day visit with troops, at the invitation of Canada's Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Wilkins said he spent 45 minutes in a bunker on Christmas night after a rocket hit an airstrip at an Air Force base he was visiting in Kandahar. But he said the explosion was not near him.