US-NATO Decree

US-NATO Decree: Continue Canadian Military Commitment to the War in Afghanistan

The Harper Regime and Executive Power

By WC O’Casey

November 13, 2010

Canadians were delivered the US-NATO decision to extend Canada’s “mission” in Afghanistan on November 11, 2010 by Prime Minister Harper.  The timing of the announcement coincided with Prime Minister Harper’s visit to the G20 meetings in Seoul South Korea, Remembrance Day in Canada and where 60 years earlier under the mantra of “collective security” the Cold War government of Louis St. Laurent announce plans to re-arm the Canadian Forces and collaborate in US imperialist aggression in North Korea.

The PM’s announcement of the US-NATO decision to keep Canadian forces in Afghanistan until 2014 has been met with the usual spin and buzz words by the corrupt and compliant corporate media and pundits.  Canada will only “engage in training”, Canadian forces will only remain “inside the wire”, Canada will not extend its “combat role” are all parroted by the news media stars in grand acquiescent fashion.

The announcement has been timed and calculated to adjust popular thinking in Canada just ahead of the NATO Summit in Lisbon on November 20, 2010.  US imperialism is pressing for greater military contributions from its NATO allies in the form of new taxation, troops and hardware under the New Strategic Concept doctrine of “Collective Security”.  One must ask collective security from whom?

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen answered some of these questions on October 11, 2010 where he outlined the agenda of the Foreign and Defence Ministers’ informal meetings which took place in Brussels on 14 October. The meetings focused on NATO’s new Strategic Concept, missile “defence” and reform.

Rasmussen commenting on NATO’s intent to project power around the globe said that the intent of the Lisbon Summit is, “to put in place an Alliance that is more modern, more efficient and better able to work with our partners around the globe (FOS emphasis – ed).”

The NATO Secretary General emphasised his determination to gain agreement on missile defence saying:

“NATO should develop the capability to defend Europe from the threat of missile attack… More than 30 countries in the world have, or are acquiring ballistic missiles, some of which can already reach Europe…considering the immeasurable cost of a missile strike on any of our cities, I believe we cannot afford not to have missile defence.”[1]

NATO plans to put into place European missile defence are well on the way to being operational. During June 2010 NATO began the implementation of missile defence.  The NATO website announced:

“NATO signs contracts for the second phase of the interim theatre missile defence capability. This will include the capability to conduct a real-time theatre missile defence battle.

“At the June 2010 meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence, it was agreed that, should Allies decide at the Lisbon Summit to develop a missile defence capability for NATO which would provide protection to European Allied populations and territory against the increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles, an expanded Theatre Missile Defence programme could form the command, control and communications backbone of such a system. The United States’ Phased Adaptive Approach would provide a valuable national contribution to this capability.”[2]

Following the November Lisbon Summit in December 2010 US-NATO missile defence plans will be fully implemented whereby all “… missile defence sensors and shooters from NATO nations – will be linked and tested in an ‘ensemble’ test prior to handover to NATO’s military commanders.”[3]

The Harper regime has indicated that it will support the US-NATO missile defence program being navigated through European bourgeois democracy by Rasmussen.  The National Post reported on October 20, 2010 that:

“The Conservative government says it supports a European ballistic missile defence system proposed for approval by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other NATO leaders at a summit in Portugal next month.”[4]

Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced that, “Canada supports the development of a NATO missile defence system for the protection of Allied European territory and populations.”[5]   The Canadian people have not been consulted on the minority conservative Government commitment.  The decision has not been through Parliament.

European missile defence is being developed as part broader US-Israeli war preparations for an all out assault on Iran.  Focus On Socialism has produced and published many articles, appeals and warnings, including from Fidel, the WPC and Global Research that fully expose and indicate the extent of the barbarous war plans of US imperialism on Iran.  The minority Harper conservatives have committed the Canadian people to US-NATO-Israel plans for an attack on Iran through a “press statement” pledging support for European missile defence.

The Harper minority conservative practice of announcing foreign policy through the media and unelected spokespersons and not in Parliament through the elected representatives is the same tactic that the minority conservatives have used to announce the NATO decree on Canada’s continued involvement in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister did not consult Canadian Parliament on the US-NATO military council order to leave Canadian troops in Afghanistan.  Instead US-NATO military commanders have sent their Canadian “ambassador” Stephen Harper to sell the “new” plan to the Canadian people; a plan for Canadian imperialism to take on a policing, intelligence and US-NATO occupation support role.

The weak political left by virtue of its being unorganized and ineffective has in effect collaborated with the reactionary right allowing US-NATO diktat to supersede the will of the overwhelming majority of Canadian people and completely withdraw from the US-NATO imperialist war of aggression and occupation.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Director has recently commented on the weakness of the peace movement and progressive forces to stop the dangerous march to nuclear war.  Chossudovsky has said that,

“The existing antiwar movement has since 2003 been substantially weakened and divided. It does not at present have the required organizational capabilities to wage this campaign (against nuclear war – ed.).

“The antiwar movement is misinformed on the nature of the US military agenda. Several non-governmental organizations have placed the blame on Iran, for not complying with the "reasonable demands" of the "international community". These same organizations, which are committed to World Peace tend to downplay the implications of the proposed US bombing of Iran.”[6]

The US-NATO order extending Canadian involvement in the Afghan War is defended by the Harper regime as not requiring Parliamentary approval because Canada’s role has changed and it will only be a “training” mission.  Harper is attempting to convince the people of Canada that the only authority required to make such a decision is executive power.

The Prime Minister said:

“My position is if you’re going to put troops into combat, into a war situation, I do think for the sake of legitimacy, I do think the government does require the support of Parliament…But when we’re talking simply about technical or training missions, I think that is something the executive can do on its own.”[7]

Attempting to justify the US-NATO order overriding the authority of the elected Parliament of Canada and extend Canadian involvement in Afghanistan Prime Minister Harper said that “conditions on the ground” convinced him of not pulling out to soon since that would risk the gains that Canadian troops have made.  He went on to say that, “it was the best decision when one looks at the options.”[8]

The Canadian people have a right to know what “conditions”, what “gains” and what “options” the Prime Minister is referring to.  The Canadian left including the communists and organised labour along with the NDP has an obligation to demand that the Conservative regime submits to the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy and discuss these questions in an open emergency debate in Parliament in front of the Canadian people.

The Michael Ignatiff Liberals indicated that they are in agreement with the Prime Ministers decision not going to Parliament saying:

“If – please note the word if – the mission is a genuinely non-combat role, then you could imagine proceeding without a parliamentary resolution.

“But we’re not there yet. We’ve got to define what the mission that the government proposes actually is.

“The question of whether he needs a resolution or not depends entirely on what kind of mission he proposes and whether all the details are there and acceptable.”[9]

The Canadian people know “what kind of mission” it is.  It is a war.  It is an illegal imperialist war.  It is a war of occupation.  There is no need for “details” only the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Canadian forces from Afghanistan.

By agreeing with the minority conservative government the opposition Leader is following the US-NATO mantra and the Harper lead of “collective security” and closing ranks around his class of finance, resource and military capital.  What Ignatieff has in effect said to the Canadian people is that matters and decisions of foreign policy are to be left outside of the Canadian parliament and to be determined by the generals sitting on the US-NATO war council.

NDP leader Jack Layton has said that, “New Democrats disagree, and we are demanding the Prime Minister bring this new extension to the House of Commons for public debate and a vote.”[10]

At the time of this writing the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) has not issued a statement or press release.  People’s Voice, the CPC paper, has published the Canadian Peace Alliance statement.  The Canadian Peace Congress has yet to issue a statement.

Prime Minister Harper will travel to Lisbon to take his seat at the imperial US-NATO war council on November 20 boasting to his imperial counterparts that Canada is doing its part for “collective security”.

Canadian finance capital will remain invested in Afghanistan through the export of private military and security operations.  Canadian imperialism will ensure its interests are protected by suppressing national liberation forces and developing bureaucratic structures for diplomatic and political operations.  This will be the new face of Canadian imperialism.

The Canadian people are being made complicit in the illegal US-NATO war of occupation and aggression by ceding Canadian foreign policy to the antagonistic expansionist policies of US imperialism.

The Canadian people in their overwhelming majority want a complete end to any and all Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan. 

For the Canadian people to peacefully develop the country we must cease all aggression on the people of Afghanistan and end our participation in the imperialist councils and military structures of NATO, NORAD and NORTHCOM. 

The Canadian people must demand an end to any Canadian involvement in European missile defence and nuclear war preparations on Iran.

As a country we must halt the Canada First Defence Strategy and divert the $1/2 Trillion dollar military budget into schools, hospitals, culture and education.

Canada must halt the purchase of the interoperable US-NATO nuclear capable F-35 fighter bombers; end the leases of the German Tiger Tanks and the Israeli UAVs.

Canadian people must demand an end the militarization of the Canadian Arctic.

Only on this basis can the Canadian people have true peace and security and take our place in the non-belligerent and peaceful community of nations outside of the US imperialist economic and military councils.  Only on this basis will Canadians ensure the future of our nation and its economic development for all.

Canada Out of NATO!  Dismantle NATO!

Canada Out of Afghanistan!

No to Canadian Participation in US-NATO-EU Missile Defence!

Divert the Canada First Defence Strategy $1/2 Trillion Budget to Peaceful Uses!

No to the Militarization of the Canadian Arctic!

Left Turn Canada!


[1] NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, October 11, 2010,
[3] ibid
[4] Juliet O’Neill, Postmedia News, National Post, “Canada to back European missile defence program”, October. 20, 2010,
[5] ibid
[6] Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, “Remembrance Day: Reversing the Tide of War. Say No to Nuclear War”, November 11, 2010,
[7] BILL CURRY, Globe and Mail, “Harper won't seek Parliament’s okay to extend Afghan mission”, November 12, 2010,
[8] BILL CURRY, Globe and Mail,  “PM acknowledges changing mind on continuing Afghan role”, November 11, 2010,
[9] BILL CURRY, GLORIA GALLOWAY AND CAMPBELL CLARK, Globe and Mail, “Tories, Liberals deny deal over post-2011 Afghan training mission”, November 12, 2010,
[10] NDP Press Release, “Harper and Ignatieff break promise on Afghan mission”, November 12, 2010,