‘Afghanistan is a 20-year venture’ warns Canadian general

Monday, August 8, 2005

Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, one of Canada’s top generals says Canadians should prepare for a long mission to Afghanistan in order to help it break out of “a cycle of warlords and tribalism.” Leslie told the audience attending the 74th Annual Couchiching Summer Conference in Orillia, Ontario, Canada on The Use of Force Within and Between Nations that Canada’s troops will have casualties. As many as 1,250 Canadian soldiers will be serving in Afghanistan by February 2006. A 250-strong provincial reconstruction team mission is currently gathering to stabilise the Kandahar region joining the nearly 700 troops already serving in Kabul. “Every time you kill an angry young man overseas, you’re creating 15 more who will come after you”, he said.

“There are things worth fighting for. There are things worth dying for. There are things worth killing for”, Leslie told the conference and he said the end result would be worth the cost:

Patterns of behaviour and beliefs about sovereignty, economics, national interests, national values, social development, the willingness to help others, a drive towards democratic institutions and representational government, the rule of law, quality of life, human rights and national culture are all parts of the larger equation of security requirements and potential solutions.
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