Counter-insurgency in Afghanistan

The New Democratic Party of Canada tabled a motion today to put an end to the counter-insurgency Afghanistan mission that the Liberals, Conservatives, and Bloc Quebecois want to last until 2009.

"The NDP motion, to be debated Thursday and voted on Monday, calls for an immediate safe and secure withdrawal of our troops from the counter-insurgency mission and to focus our assistance, not through counter-insurgency but through development and aid," said NDP Leader Jack Layton. "Both Liberals and Conservatives admit that the conflict in Afghanistan won't be won militarily. We believe that two more years of participating in the wrong mission for Canada is two years too long."

The NDP motion is consistent with the party's position since the counter-insurgency mission began, unlike Liberal leader Stephane Dion's recent flip-flop on the issue.

"One year ago, Stephane Dion voted against extending the mission in Afghanistan, on Tuesday he voted to extend it until 2009," said Layton. "NDP MPs take their responsibility as parliamentarians very seriously when we put young women and men in harm's way. The question for the Liberals is simple: If the mission is wrong for Canada, why are they asking our brave men and women to participate in it for two more years?"

The NDP's motion reiterates the NDP's support for Canadian troops and calls on Canada to focus its efforts in assisting the people of Afghanistan by re-doubling its commitment to reconstruction and development.

UPDATE: In the end, the Liberals, Conservatives, and Bloc voted against the NDP motion, choosing to leave Canada’s soldiers in harms way until 2009 and beyond. The NDP has vowed to continue calling for an immediate and safe end to Canada's participation in the counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan.

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