OTTAWA -- Six months, maximum
That was the conventional wisdom in February 2002 when Canada first shipped 850 ground troops off to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The intention was to go in, support the U.S. to find Osama Bin Laden and get rid of the Taliban, and then get the troops home so fast they might not even be missed.
But six months has turned into six years and counting.
"I think from the beginning people have underestimated this," says Mark Sedra, a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation. "The reality is this is going to take a long time."