It's All About Oil. Or Something like that.
a) "Washington has long promoted a gas pipeline south from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. It would pass through Kandahar."
b) "Realistic or not, construction is planned to start in 2010, and Canadian Forces are committed until December 2011." Defence Minister Peter MacKay has said that if the Taliban attack a pipeline and our troops are still there, "then yes we will play a role."
c) The United States identifies one of its goals in Afghanistan as stabilizing the country, and that includes assisting with energy links through South and Central Asia. Therefore - drum roll, please - we come to. . .
d) "Unwittingly or willingly, Canadian forces are supporting American goals."
There's a second shell game at work in the essay as well:
a) "U.S. strategic thinking is to get other NATO countries involved in guarding the world's oil and gas supplies."
b) Prime Minister Harper says energy security requires "unprecedented international co-operation [in] protecting and maintaining the world's energy supply system."
c) Therefore, "Canada is in danger of being drawn into long-term military commitments relating to energy," which means. . .
Okay then. Let's not. (Sound of crickets).
I do agree with Foster here: "Energy geopolitics are worthy of public discussion."
The problem is that Foster's essay does nothing to contribute to anything even vaguely resembling a rational, sane, sensible public discussion.