First of all, Canadian Forces do not take casualties every day. Yes, the media keeps throwing this at the public because it's something that the public wants to hear.
And by the way, Peacekeeping only works if there is a peace to be kept. Afghanistan is a place where the rule of law doesn't extend much past the suburbs of Kabul, where warlords, terrorists and drug lords and Taliban can operate in impunity. Our job out there as soldiers isn't to keep a peace that doesn't exist. It's to stabilize that country, to create the peace that Afgahnistan needs to grow and stand on its own two feet. Our commitment to that country is not a mess. Granted, we're operating in a hot zone that is rife with violence, but this is what we train for. The Canadian Forces are not a heavily armed police force. We are soldiers and we do soldiers' work: we find the enemy, engage them and vanquish them and do the reconstruction jobs that no civilian contractor would touch with a ten foot pole.
We deal in dangerous situations. More so than cops ever will. And a great deal more so than the civilians back home who think that it's too dangerous to have soldiers doing what we've been training for.
But if Harper pulls our troops out, it's game over for Canada and the Canadian Forces. We'll forever be seen as even more of a joke on the international front as we might have been seen in the past. Yes, it is regrettable that soldiers die overseas. I even have friends out there risking their necks, so guess what? I'm as worried as the next man when I hear that a soldier whose name hasn't been released yet is going to come home in a box. But it's time to smell the coffee: soldiers die. And those 40 brave men and women who have died in Afghanistan died serving not only their country but helping make life better for Afghan civilians who want to have a place where they can live without the fear of being conscripted in some warlord's militia or enslaved by opium poppy farmers.
Six and a half years in the Canadian Forces and counting, and slated for a deployment to Afghanistan next summer.
· 1 decade ago