Afghanistan – Now Safe?

What’s with this?

webphoto_6050_resizeRadio Canada/CBC reported on Tuesday that, “The federal government is reducing danger pay for Canadian military personnel who are currently serving in Afghanistan on training missions, saying that the country is not as dangerous as it used to be.” The proposed cut is to begin on April 15. It affects 930 members of the Canadian Forces currently serving in Afghanistan.

This decision caused immediate outrage, as it comes just a few days after news that a car bomb blast killed five Americans, including three U.S. soldiers and a diplomat, on Saturday. The NDP defence critic Jack Harris quickly criticized the move, pointing to a “recent uptick” in attacks on NATO troops.

Is Afghanistan really that safe? Even Rick Merger got involved, tweeting that according to the government “it’s safe now apparently.” At the same time he pointed to the Canadian government’s official travel advisory website which currently says this about Afghanistan:

! AFGHANISTAN – AVOID ALL TRAVEL

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to Afghanistan, due to the unstable security situation, ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks, the risk of kidnapping and a high crime rate. If you choose to travel to Afghanistan despite this warning, you are taking a serious risk.

The next day the Prime Minister’s Office announced that it intended to reverse the decision and “had asked officials to ‘re-examine’ the move.”

Thank you Rick Mercer.

About Edward Clayton
Edward Clayton grew up in the US but has lived in Canada for the last 4 decades. He is a long time peace activist and committed to issues of social justice and good government. He reports on Canadian, American, and global politics from a Canadian perspective.

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