* About time – Canadian Afghan Policy Changing

Looks like, from the UN speech on Friday 25 September 09 by Minister Cannon, that someone  has been reading some of the alternative solutions submitted to the Manley Panel that were discounted by the commission and the government.  The speech indicates an intention to ease ourselves out of our combat role.   Maybe the Manley contention that 1000 more troops and more killing will ensure success, as a major part of the Canadian contribution, is being relegated to the dustbin where it more properly belongs.  Maybe someone has seriously read my submission to the Manley Panel and also published in the “Peace Research, The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies” Vol 39, Numbers 1-2 (2007).  In this Journal it was noted that the panel received 219 submissions and there were “some indications that panel members only read summaries of these submissions”.  Peace Research decided to publish a selection of these submissions as a “historical marker of alternative thinking”,  as they noted that  it appears that “the panels website and all submissions were taken off line.”  Those published, of which mine was included, were cited as “some indication of the depth and breath of thinking” that occurred and that may also serve to “enrich our thinking for the future of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan”.

Now we only have to take a few more steps to reclaim the two Nobel Peace prizes that Canadians have shared for peacekeeping in the past, such as easing ourselves to a posture of neutrality, to a focus on diplomacy, of talking to all sides, of facilitating the creation of safe spaces for dialogue by all parties when they are ready, and of further rethinking of our military role and structure.  Good luck to us.

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