John Manley’s report on the Afghan mission does a service to Canada. Which must be the primary criterion for judging it regardless of the difficulties it creates for various politicians or, for that matter, columnists.
Yes, columnists. If Mr. Manley’s Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan had produced a comically feeble result, I’d have had a field day with, say, a report on Canada’s Future Role in the European War, where Jack Layton proposes negotiating with the Nazis while Stéphane Dion wants to withdraw from Germany but invade the Soviet Union.
Instead, the panel’s tough-minded, mostly sensible document also forces me to scrap plans for a Robson Report stating various frightfully obvious facts about Afghanistan. I’m not entirely sure why MPs needed the Manley panel to do so, although it probably has something to do with a lack of strategic culture in Canada. But state them it did, in a climate where doing so was a definite public service.
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