Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama on side with Canada's Afghan policy

Huh? Canada's policy is not to send more troops but to end the combat mission entirely in 2011 as far as our troops are concerned. Is that what Obama wants? I think he would be much happier if we also sent more troops in line with the US sending more!
It is true that both Harper and Obama agree that a solution involves more than military action. Harper probably would send more troops if he thought he could get away with it politically so maybe he the article is right. Both Harper, Obama, and Bush were on the same wavelength with respect to Afghanistan.

Tuesday » February 17 » 2009

Obama on side with Canada's Afghanistan policy

Mike Blanchfield
Canwest News Service
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
OTTAWA - U.S. President Barack Obama suggested Tuesday he will not pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper to keep Canadian troops in Afghanistan beyond the 2011 deadline for withdrawal.
In an interview at the White House with CBC television, in advance of his visit to Ottawa on Thursday, Obama said the military alone cannot solve Afghanistan's problems, and that he hoped to discuss a "comprehensive" approach to the situation that also focused on diplomacy and development efforts.
Even though he is set to approve a military surge that could see an additional 30,000 U.S. troops bound for the Afghanistan, Obama's comments appear to fall directly in line with the Harper government's approach to the war-torn country.
It also appears that Obama won't use the visit to put Harper on the spot about extending the combat mission, which Parliament has said must end by 2011.
"I am absolutely convinced that you cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism in that region solely through military means. We're going to have to use diplomacy; we're going to have to use development," Obama told the CBC in his only interview with a Canadian media organization prior to his first foreign visit.
"My hope is that in conversations that I have with Prime Minister Harper that he and I end up seeing the importance of a comprehensive strategy and one that ultimately the people of Canada can support as well as the people of the United States can support."
Obama said that he realizes there are concerns in both countries "about a conflict that has lasted quite a long time now and actually appears to be deteriorating at this point."
The president prefaced his remarks by acknowledging the more than 100 Canadian military deaths in Afghanistan.
"The Canadian contribution has been extraordinary. For all the families who have borne the burden in Canada, I think, we all have a heart-felt thanks," he said.......

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