’The job in Afghanistan is not done’

The Senate committee on national security and defence released its report on the Afghanistan mission this morning, including its recommendation for the post-2011 mandate.

If there is a recurring theme to what witnesses have told us, it is that the job in Afghanistan is not done and that Canadian troops should stay in some capacity. With the surge of NATO forces now underway, gains are at last being consolidated instead of lost. That surge of forces is importantly fighting alongside soldiers of the Afghan National Army. Ultimately, this fight against the Taliban is their fight. It will be a key part of Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan that Canadian soldiers helped prepare them for this fight.

Based upon the evidence, testimony, and suggestions we have heard; upon our deliberations; and given our concern for our nation’s standing among its allies, this Committee believes and recommends that Canada‟s important and highly-valued contribution to the development of the leadership, training and mentoring of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police must continue beyond 2011, and that Parliament should, at its earliest opportunity, give careful consideration to the question of the role of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan after 2011.