Prime Minister "Mission Creep" Harper is already speculating on keeping Canadian troops in Kandahar beyond the 2011 extension - if we're misfortunate enough to keep Lardo in office that long. From CanWest:
"We'll cross some of those bridges if and when we come to them. We've not suggested we abandon Afghanistan at a point in time." Harper said Canada's diplomatic and development efforts would continue in Afghanistan for many years to come.
"I will assume from their failure to actually ask me that question directly that what they understand is that Canada is saying that we will be out of Afghanistan in 2011 militarily," Harper said.
But he did not rule out being asked "for some kind of extension or some kind of other re-engagement" later on.
"I think they understand that we're serious. We're serious about not just staying, but also leaving," he explained.
"When I say leaving, I mean accomplishing our objective, which is training the Afghan forces so they can take principal responsibility for their own security in Kandahar."
C'mon Steve. 2011 makes a full decade in Afghanistan. If the US and ISAF can't train enough soldiers to defend the rot that passes for a government in Kabul by then, we never will. That's the problem with having no clearly defined targets. Ideologues like Cheney and Harper use the uncertainty to just keep moving the goal posts until all sense of mission is blurred to the point of irrelevance. These clowns just don't understand that war isn't supposed to be turned into a pastime.