What does a Canadian victory in Afghanistan look like? Well, according to a Status of Forces agreement between Canada and the Kabul government under the signature of General Rick Hillier, we promised that "Canadian troops will "eliminate" Al Qaeda, the Taliban, "anti-coalition armed groups, and any other insurgents threatening the security and stability of Afghanistan or international peace and security."
So, there we have it. That's where we agreed to set the bar. This is how we will measure victory or defeat for our mission to Afghanistan.
Hillier signed us on to this deal in 2005 during the federal election that brought the shining light of Harperism to power. From the Toronto Star:
A newly elected Harper quickly stamped his support on the mission when he reacted to an upswing in violence in Afghanistan by declaring Canada would not "cut and run" from the country.
"We will not be in any way backtracking from an obligation which has been undertaken," Harper said in a March 2006 news conference.
Less than three years later, Boss Harp had a change of heart - sort of like how he's flopped on everything else such as transparency and accountability for starters - and says we're not so crazy about eliminating the bad guys any more.
But, there it is. That's what our Great Canadian Hero, General "Hubris" Hillier, got us into. That's how you can judge our victory or defeat in Hillier's war.
Sure Hillier got the approval for this from the prime minister but, when you're taking your troops out on the ice, it's the general's responsibility to ensure that ice is thick enough to get his troops safely and successfully to the other side. The guy said it was doable. He told the PM that, he told the same thing to the Canadian people. He was wrong and I don't see any excuse for him not knowing that.
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