Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Manley Report

The Manley Report was released this week. See it here (pdf).

The most interesting reactions:

The Scott Ross blog (as summarized by David Pugliese):

What Mr. Ross found is quite interesting in that there are almost direct passages taken from Mr. Manley’s previous writing in Policy Options which found their way into the Manley panel report. This is now being used by some to suggest Mr. Manley already had some of his conclusions ready to go even before listening to any other arguments/submissions to the contrary. Whatever the reason, it raises more than a few questions.

Here’s some examples from Mr. Ross’s blog:

“On page 4 of the Manley Report it states:

Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, there was never any hesitation: “We want you to stay; we need you to stay.” Without the presence of the international security forces, they said, chaos would surely ensue.

Now compare that to what John Manley wrote three months ago, on page 12 in Policy Options:

Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, they did not hesitate to say that we must stay. Without the presence of the international forces, chaos would surely ensue."

On his blog Mr. Ross raises the question of whether the Manley panel even asked Afghans what they thought of ISAF and Canada? Or was that just something John Manley had done for his Journal article, and then re-wrote almost word for word for the panel report? It's a good question that should be answered by Mr. Manley. (See the Scott Ross blog entry here.)
The Scott Ross blog continues its probing questions as to the nature of the Manley panel here. It echoes the analysis of Far and Wide blog. As they pointed out, quoting an Ottawa Citizen piece:
Sources at NATO headquarters in Belgium and in the United States have indicated in recent days that two marine battalions being sent to southern Afghanistan for seven months this spring with specific orders to assist the Canadians are likely to be followed by even more marine battalions in 2009 and 2010. ...

The officer, who did not wish to be identified because he was not authorized to speak about the issue, said U.S. help for the Canadians had been in the works for several months. (See Ottawa Citizen here.)
Thus, the Manley panel's recommendation that Canada extend its mission only if NATO allies contribute another 1000 soldiers was perhaps political "bait". And it is one that may be paying off:
OTTAWA — Canadians are giving a supportive welcome to John Manley's report on Canada's involvement in Afghanistan, with 49 per cent of voters surveyed saying they would back extending the mission if Mr. Manley's conditions are met.

By contrast, 35 per cent would oppose extending the mission even if the recommendations were carried out. ... (see Globe and Mail)

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