So our good buddy Stephen Harper has been saying that the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan has an expiration date of 20 months as we will be leaving in February 2009. While this sounds all well and good that our troops will be out of danger, I can't help but wonder.
Stephen Harper is not a stupid man, he knows that the Canadian Military is stretched too thin right now, and will be getting even thinner as time goes by and the caskets keep coming home. Also, he knows that this is an unpopular mission (note: it's not a war) and so announcing it has an end will help him in the poles. I just warn you, don't get too relieved for our troops right now, they certainly are not in the clear.
The date of February 2009 struck me as an interesting one to say the least. I find it interesting because of what will be happening three months before that, a US election.
We all know that the biggest swing state this time around will not be Florida or Ohio, it will be Iraq. I think that it's very likely that whoever wins the election down south will be calling an end to "Bush's War" and the US could be leaving Iraq in the next couple of years.
What does this have to do with anything you ask? Well after the US leaves Iraq there will be a massive humanitarian crisis that follows. The region will be pretty badly destabilized and in need of massive amount of aid and peace keeping. This my friends, is where our great nation comes in. We do have a huge peace keeping force and a desire to please our neighbour to the south.
So I guess what I'm saying is that I fully expect Canadians to send troops to Iraq to help clean up that mess after the US either leaves or reduces their forces. Since we can't complete two unpopular and dangerous missions at once, we will have to pick and choose, and I guess the Afghan people are playing the part of the fat kids in gym class right now.
Until next time,