Despite Parliament Mandate, Canada May Stay in Afghanistan

DM Says Troops Could Stay Through 2014

Canada’s government has been very clear for quite some time about their intentions to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011. Parliament had even made it official and it seemed only a matter of time before Canada ended their involvement in the increasingly unpopular war.

But as always, US officials are pressing Canada to keep their troops in the country, and the Conservative government confirmed today that they are strongly considering a plan that would keep the troops there through at least 2014.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says that such a move would involve redefining the troops as “non-combat” and putting them in a less volatile province to focus on training police and military forces.

Canada has just under 3,000 troops in Afghanistan today, and 152 Canadian troops have died in the war since the 2001 invasion, the third largest death toll of any country involved in the occupation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.