A balanced mission and a balanced opinion there.
Thank you to our panel.
I just want to clarify something that seems to be out there, that we don't support committing to Afghanistan as a party. Contrary to what you might hear, we do. It's just about how we do it. It's not about aiding Afghanistan; it's about how you aid Afghanistan. Of course, our concern is the method that's being used right now—and we're about to vote on the war, and we'll continue it for another three years—and that is to fight with a counter-insurgency method. That's what's deeply concerning. I think we haven't really understood that, and I think this vote is something we'll look back on and say, “Do you remember when...?” People will say, “You know, we thought we were doing the right thing.”
I fundamentally believe we're going in the wrong direction with the counter-insurgency approach, and I just state that for the record. I believe the UN needs to take more of a role. I believe it's interesting that we have something called the UN Peacebuilding Commission, headed by a Canadian. We don't even have a membership on that commission. Do you know why? It's because we don't presently contribute enough troops to UN peacekeeping. That's why we're not allowed on. The second criterion is that we do not contribute enough to the UN. So guess what? We're not on the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which talks about having integrated strategies for building peace.
I guess I just have time for one question. I respect Ms. Armstrong's and Ms. MacDonald's comments, and actually, I read in the late nineties some of the things you were saying, and I was among a number of activists who were saying, “Please pay attention to what's going on in Afghanistan.” So I thank you for that.
Surendrini, I wanted to ask you about the grassroots approach to peacebuilding and how that can work with what Mr. Heinbecker said in terms of this compact arrangement. That interests me quite a bit, because we're going to have a vote, it's going to go ahead, and we'll have the war part figured out, or at least some people will. I'm interested in the peacebuilding, so I'd like to know about these two components, how a grassroots kind of approach fits in with this idea of regional partners, if you have any ideas on that.