Whatever the ultimate outcome of the debate about having a Debate on Canada’s role in Afghanistan, it will be very important that the government be clear in its own mind about what we are doing there and why we are doing it, and communicate its purposes persuasively to Canadians. Otherwise, like the Martin administration and the sponsorship scandal, the Harper government could end up being defined by an issue it inherited, however tight its focus on other priorities.

It appears that we are in Afghanistan for essentially two good reasons, both entirely defensible: human solidarity and national security....

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