KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The commander of Canada’s mentoring teams in Afghanistan says the military is capable of training Afghan security forces beyond 2011, but it could prove challenging depending on the personnel required.
Col. Ian Creighton, the commander of Canada’s Operational and Mentoring Liaison Teams, says the military could “absolutely” continue the training if Ottawa decided in favour of that.
But Creighton says that role could be challenging, depending on the number of experienced Canadian military leaders who would be needed.
Earlier this week, MPs on the parliamentary committee on the Afghan mission who visited Kandahar and Kabul said they were still open to the possibility that Canada could maintain a military presence that would focus on training, not combat, after next year.
Canada’s military mission is scheduled to conclude in July 2011.
But there have been persistent calls from NATO for Canada to maintain a small non-combat military presence that would help in the ongoing — and often frustrating — effort to train local soldiers and police officers.