Mr. Chair, I am happy to hear the minister acknowledge that what we have in Afghanistan is not a traditional peacekeeping operation, although I do not think that anyone really thought it was. It is just that the government has not been as fulsome in its acknowledgement of that as it might be.
I think there was an attempt to do so by acknowledging that there might be casualties and that there was more likelihood of casualties with the move from Kabul to Kandahar, but there has been a kind of morphing of the government position with respect to peacekeeping that I do not think has always been fully explained.
For instance, the 5,000 new troops initially were supposed to be for peacekeeping. It is clear now that those 5,000 new troops are going to be recruited and trained to help us fulfill our commitment in Afghanistan, which frankly seems to be rather open-ended, and they are not going to be available for traditional UN peacekeeping. I think that is a change in government policy and expectation that has not been fully explained to Canadians.
I think there are a lot of Canadians out there who still think this increase in the armed forces is so that we can get back to the situation we once were in, where we were a much more significant contributor to UN peacekeeping operations or peace support missions than we are now.
I found it very interesting that when the minister talked about the Danish agreement as a model he did not say there was anything in the Danish agreement about guarantees that prisoners turned over to the Afghan government would not be subsequently turned over to some other government.
I was waiting. I thought, okay, he went down the list of things that were in this Danish agreement that we should be happy about, and I was waiting for the minister to say, pursuant to the discussion we just had, that the key thing is that there is a guarantee they will not be turned over to the Americans. Yet the minister did not say that. I find that disappointing because clearly that is the concern that was expressed on the floor here. That would be my response to the minister.