Harper, on his Latin American swing this week, pointedly referred to it: "What I see is a growing concern of Canadians, and of the burden we are carrying and the level of Canadian casualties."
He added: "I understand the pain and I understand the difficulties that this causes the Canadian population, and that's the real controversy."
In other words, he is feeling the political heat. A Strategic Counsel poll yesterday shows the Tories sliding into a dead heat with the Liberals at 31 per cent, and falling to a distant third place behind the Bloc Quebecois and Liberals in Quebec, where the Afghan mission is highly unpopular. The deployment of 2,000 Quebec troops in the middle of the summer will only call more attention to the mission.
Harper is now clearly saying while Canada will fulfill its commitment to February 2009, the government will not extend the mission in Kandahar without the support of other parties in the House.
Since the Liberals are calling for an end to the mission in 2009, and the NDP oppose it altogether, that's simply not going to happen.
In essence, although Harper hasn't said so, he is giving notice to NATO that Canada wants to be relieved in Kandahar in 2009.
bush has fucked himself everywhere. Nobody wants anything to do with his war games anymore because bush doesn't have a clue how AND WHEN wars should be fought. Both Afghanistan and Iraq's rapidly deteriorating situations have proven that.
But now, along with the endless occupation in Iraq, the US Military will have the extra task of picking up the slack in Afghanistan if Canada starts to pull out. All total that would be another 2500 troops that would have to be sent to Afghanistan if the Canadians pulled out.
Meanwhile, in Iraq news:
Before withdrawing its 480 combat troops from Iraq next month, Denmark is pulling out about a dozen Iraqi interpreters and their families.
The translators have worked with the Danes in the southern city of Basra, a risky job that has turned them into traitors in the eyes of militants fighting the U.S.-led coalition. The government decided in June to offer all the interpreters working for Danish forces a chance to seek asylum.
The United States and Britain have been reluctant to accept large numbers of Iraqi asylum-seekers - including those who worked for their military or civilian operations. The Danish move came only after months of heated debate.
Any help from the Brits on this problem of the Coalition of the Thinning?
The head of the Army has issued a dire warning that Britain has almost run out of troops to defend the country or fight abroad, a secret document obtained by the Daily Telegraph has revealed.Things are sucking everywhere you look if you are an American soldier.
Gen Sir Richard Dannatt has told senior commanders that reinforcements for emergencies or for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan are "now almost non-existent".
In the memorandum to fellow defence leaders, the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) confessed that "we now have almost no capability to react to the unexpected". The "undermanned" Army now has all its units committed to either training for war in Iraq and Afghanistan, on leave or on operations.