Although the percentage of people against the mission's extension has gone down a few percentage points since March there are still a majority opposed to it. This is significant given all the propaganda around the Manley report and the Liberals rhetorical flights of fancy about just being concerned with reconstruction.
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Canadians Still Oppose Afghan Mission Extension
May 13, 2008
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Canada believe the House of Commons should not have extended the country’s military mandate in Afghanistan until the end of 2011, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 54 per cent of respondents disagree with the decision.
When asked if the Canadian government should actively negotiate with the Taliban if this helps the peace efforts led by the elected Afghan government, 48 per cent of respondents reject the idea, while 37 per cent are open to it.
Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.
At least 800 soldiers—including 82 Canadians—have died in the war on terrorism, either in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Canadians renewed the House of Commons in January 2006. The Conservative party—led by Stephen Harper—received 36.3 per cent of the vote, and secured 124 seats in the 308-member lower house. Harper leads a minority administration after more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party.
In May 2006, the House of Commons extended Canada’s mission in Afghanistan until February 2009. In March 2008, the House of Commons voted 198-77 to prolong the military deployment until the end of 2011. The Conservative and Liberal parties supported the motion, while the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois opposed it.
Yesterday, Harper unveiled a 20-year, $30 billion U.S. program to renew the Canadian Forces, declaring, "If a country wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world, it needs to have the capacity to act. It’s just that simple. (...) By investing in new military equipment and technologies, the Strategy will benefit Canada’s knowledge and technology industries, which will produce lucrative civilian commercial spin-offs."
As you may know, the House of Commons has authorized an extension of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011, which is conditional on Canada coming up with unmanned aerial vehicles and transport helicopters, and NATO providing an additional 1,000 troops in the south. Do you agree or disagree with the decision to extend Canada’s mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011?
Some people have stated that officials from foreign nations should reach out to the Taliban if this helps the peace efforts led by the elected Afghan government. Would you agree or disagree with the Canadian government actively negotiating with the Taliban?