Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Canada Rebuffs Clinton's Request to Keep Canadian Forces in Afghanistan

More of the 'Smart Power' we were promised? Can we agree that at least the current Obama administration version of that concept is a major flop.


"The United States would like Canada to keep some of its troops in Afghanistan once its combat mission there ends next year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

In response, Canada reiterated its position that it will withdraw all 2,800 soldiers currently stationed in the southern city of Kandahar by the end of 2011.

In a vacuum you might be tempted to think there is nothing they could have done, but that is not the case. Canada, one of our closest allies, was snubbed by Obama and not personally brief on the new Afghan strategy.



Let’s go over that list again:

  • Britain – Major Coalition partner, next highest troop commitment after the US.

  • France – Has several hundred forces in combat areas, slightly over 3,000 troops overall.

  • Germany – Refuses to commit to combat roles, although they have suffered attacks in other areas, slightly more troops than Canada.

  • Italy – Fewer troops than Canada, mainly outside of combat roles.

  • China – No troops in Coalition.

  • Russia – No troops in Coalition.

Now why is Obama relegating Harper to Joe Biden while schmoozing coalition partners with less combat commitment — and two nations that aren’t even part of the effort?  It’s a ridiculous, shameful, and embarrassing insult to an American combat ally and one of this nation’s closest friends.



  1. no we can't because no one knows what the hell your talking about when you say "smart power". I pretty much do a research project a day on politics and international relations and have no idea what idealized concept you concocted this time. "smart power" is just something people say, it doens't acutally point to any decision or strategy or action.

    As for Afghanistan, I don't know why you would reasonably expect any other country to want to send their troops there. Our plans make no sense, the populations of canada, europe and the U.S. are largely either skeptical or outright against the war effort there, and not for no reason. Its like, if the president of mexico came to the united states and asked barack obama to do something terribly unpopular with americans. Considering were not a democracy he might do it anyway, but I don't think people would be to happy about it.

  2. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - "smart power" was a term Hillary Clinton used to describe what she (and Obama) would be doing now that they were in charge; a shot at the previous administration. Something that they seem not to have delivered on with yet another foreign policy failure.

  3. that's a pretty narrow conception of what "smart power" is.

    In the real world "Smart power" is a term coined by Joeseph Nye, an academic- which he meant as just utilizing the full extent of military and diplomatic apparatuses in foreign policy. And again, just something said by people like you and hillary clinton.

    its interesting you read it and are sensitive to it as a shot at the previous administration, whom if you follow what "smart power" is actually supposed to mean, as per Nye- was not somehting the previous administration believed in. They were in fact bery forthright about their disdain for the U.S. diplomatic apparatus- a practice they delivered with disasterous results for our foreign policy.

    That's if your more concerned about actually understanding how the world works, or just more concenerd with the politics of a term as you seem to be.

  4. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - it was not meant to be a narrow conception of the term, it was meant to be snarky; turnabout is fair play, no.


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