Canada: Peace Maker and Paramedic

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
by: Joe Hueglin


Canada faces two choices today, adhering to the directions of the United States of America in international affairs or following a "Made in Canada" course of action.

The United States is intent on extending the Afghanistan conflict into Pakistan. Six cross-border strike within the last nine days.(1) Not just drones now but American boots on Pakistan ground. All without NATO allies being informed, let alone being asked for consent.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has a plan in motion and will be seeking "contributions from allies to help underwrite the $20 billion cost over five years."

Planned as well is a "command reorganization (that) implies that an American officer will be in charge of the NATO and American missions for the foreseeable future. " (2)


Canadian Forces were committed to Afghanistan originally expecting to face little direct combat and to focus on reconstruction and on maintaining security in areas that were relatively calm.

They are now engaged in a war that cannot be won and that is being unilaterally extended into Pakistan. (3)

The Second Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, held November 18 to 19, 2006, committed Canada to assist in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project which runs partly through Kandahar province.(4)

Casualties will increase as American plans unfold and the field of conflict widens. Exit in 2011 is a mirage.

The withdrawal of Canadian Forces and Canada's urging the United States to negotiate power sharing among the various factions in Afghanistan, (5) which will be the eventual outcome in any case, is the most useful role Canada can play.

It would be in our tradition as peace makers. It would as well free us to employ our new planes as international paramedics to the world and enable us to use our good offices to have our neighbours, Russia and the United States, engage in negotiation rather than the sabre rattling that threatens world peace. (6)


Joe Hueglin


1. Stack, Liam, Pakistan : uproar grows over first ground assault by US troops, September 4, 2008, The Christian Science Monitor

Roggio, Bill, US targets Haggani network in North Waziristan, September 8, 2008, The Long War Journal

Pajhwok report, ISAF says its troops don't operate in Pakistan, September 4, 2008, Pajhwok Afghan News

Press TV, Pakistan threatens to retaliate against US, September 8, 2008, Iranian international news network,

Anti War News, At least 23 killed as US drones attack school in North Waziristan, September 8, 2008

Shahzad, Syed Saleem, US runs out of patience with Pakistan, June 17, 2008, South Asia Times


2. Shanker, Thom, Gates Pushing Plan for Afghan Army, August 7, 2008, The New York Times

Morgan, David, Top U.S. Marine sees shift from Iraq to Afghanistan, August 27, 2008, News Daily


3. Kirkup, James, Des Browne warns Afghanistan struggle will last a 'generation', July 18, 2008,

Metz, Steven, Rethinking Insurgency, (pdf) June 2007, Strategic Studies Institute


4. Doyle, Simon, Top Canadian officials agreed to Afghanistan 'energy bridge', June 23, 2008, the Hill Times

Visser, Josh, Canadians coulb e defending Afghan gas pipeline, June 21, 2008, CTV News


5. Shahzad, Syed Saleem, Afghanistan's 'sons of the soil' rise up, July 12, 2008, Asia times

Jenkins, Simon, Stop killing the Taliban - they offer the best hoipe of beating Al-Qaeda, June 22, 2008, London Times


6. Borger, Julian, Defiant Cheney vows Georgia will join NATO, September 5, 2008 Manchester Guardian

Heintz, Jim, Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles, August 16, 2008, Associated Press

JPOST staff, Cheney: Russian arms reaching Hizbullah, September 6, 2008, The Jerusalem Post

Cromwell, Susan, U.S. to announce over $1 Billion in aid for Georgia, September 3, 2008, Reuters News agency


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