From today's G&M
"OTTAWA — A strong majority of Afghans approve of the presence of NATO-led troops in their country, including from Canada, and want the foreign soldiers to remain to fight the Taliban and support reconstruction efforts."
I see no reason to dispute this result. We are, after all, fighting in an Afghan civil war, and I am not surprised that they, at least the ones on whose side we have chosen to serve, want us to stay until we've won that war for them.
Nevertheless, some find it "unexpected".
In an accompanying piece, "Surprising poll on an unexpected war", Gordon Smith says:
One thing Mr. Manley doubtlessly already knows is that no member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is going to come to replace Canada. Most Europeans don't regard Afghanistan as their war. I was told that at a recent two-day meeting of senior European ambassadors, the subject of Afghanistan wasn't even mentioned. So forget turning over the replacement problem to NATO — that is not on.
When they understand these facts, will Canadians want us to "declare victory" and walk away? I don't think so. Instead, I believe that the highly informative Environics poll (I was an unpaid adviser), the Stein-Lang book (which clarifies both the history and the current situation) and Mr. Manley's review of options (perhaps later in the day than would have been desirable) are going to produce a serious discussion of what to do now.
So Canada has been cheated by our NATO allies, and as a result our armed forces are doomed to get ground down slowly, but Mr. Smith is fine with that. I would dearly like to play poker with Mr. Smith. He would presumably feel duty bound to keep going even after he found out I'd rigged the deck.
I doubt the nation as a whole, however, is ready to consent to the role of Sucker.