Before committing troops to the current Afghanistan mission, Paul Martin exacted a promise the military now says it's too overworked to keep: Fighting the Taliban in Kandahar wouldn't stop Canada from peacekeeping in Darfur.

Martin, then the Liberal prime minister, set that condition at an extraordinary March 21, 2005 meeting with his top defence and diplomatic advisers. Originally skeptical of the rationale for another Afghanistan tour of duty, Martin finally agreed only after chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier confirmed Canada would prepare itself to help in Sudan, where a 3-year-old civil war has killed some 200,000 people and displaced...

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