Meanwhile, in the Situation Room

While everyone here was otherwise occupied, Wolf Blitzer aired another clip of his interview with the Prime Minister.

The question in this case: What would constitute victory in Afghanistan?

The transcript of the Prime Minister’s possibly noteworthy response after the jump.

As the U.S. prepares to increase its military strength in Afghanistan, and Canada moves forward with plans to leave, I asked the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, what the final outcome is likely to be. 


BLITZER: What is the definition of victory, from your perspective?

HARPER: Well, I think a lot of people in the past have been suggesting that, you know, victory is the complete defeat of the insurgency and the replacement of a failed state in Afghanistan with a modern liberal democracy. 

I don’t think that’s realistic. I think what we should be aiming for in Afghanistan is a viable state that respects, you know, obviously some democratic norms, but I think ultimately the insurgency will last a long time. 

Afghanistan, through most of its history has been an untamed country. So I think the idea we’re going to wipe out an insurgency is completely unrealistic. What we want is a central government that can maintain day-to-day responsibility for its own security. I think that’s what we should define victory as.


BLITZER: And you can see much more of my exclusive interview with the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, on the Saturday edition of THE SITUATION ROOM. That airs Saturday, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. 

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