Category Archives: Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Makes Surprise Afghanistan Trip

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a surprise trip to Kandahar Airfield on Thursday. While visiting the troops he warned that the increase of NATO troops in the area will lead to more violence.
This was Harper’s third visit to Kandahar.

The increase of 17,000 soldiers from the United States will allow Canada to be more effective Harper said while touring the military post.

CP 24 reports:

“The addition of American troops will allow us to do everything we’re doing now but on a much bigger scale and able to multi-task more effectively,” he said.

Harper used the time to emphasis the key development projects that are being undertaken by Canadian soldiers.

CBC reports:

Harper said that when the Canadian mission began in 2002, the Taliban had been running Afghanistan as though it were a medieval country.

“Those dark desperate days have ended. You have brought hope to those who have none,” Harper said at an appearance at Kandahar Airfield.

Harper visited the Dahla dam project that Canada has committed $50 million to help rebuilt along with the roads and waterways that are connected to it. The residents of the area rely on the dam for irrigation.

The Vancouver Sun reports:

Achievements “have not come without a cost,” Harper acknowledged in his address to soldiers. “Canada has paid dearly for this mission with our most precious asset, our brave sons and daughters . . . As prime minister, the phone calls that I make to the families of the fallen are the most difficult part of my job.”

Harper announced that Canada will also be sending $2 million in aid for UNICEF to use for education for the estimated 18,000 children in Kandahar.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk and Ron Hoffmann, Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan joined Harper on Thursday.

“Canada was spread thin in the past,” Hoffmann told reporters as the prime minister handed out coffee to soldiers nearby.

“There has not been sufficient forces on the ground to do this job,” Natynczyk later added.

“We’ve been trying to do this job with about 40,000 troops. That is totally insufficient.”