Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told U.S. President George W. Bush that Canada will not continue its mission in Afghanistan beyond 2009 without more troops and equipment.
The two leaders spoke on Wednesday about the future of the Afghan mission and ways to "ensure its continued success."
Harper informed Bush of his broad support for recommendations made by John Manley's independent panel, which reviewed the mission and suggested Canada remain in Afghanistan after next February only with the support of more NATO soldiers and equipment.
"The President noted the deployment of 3,200 additional U.S. Marines to Afghanistan, as well as his continued commitment to work with NATO to enhance its commitment to the Afghanistan mission," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said in a statement.
The U.S. announced earlier this month that it will deploy an additional 3,200 marines to southern Afghanistan beginning this spring. But U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said they will not provide Canada with the support the country is seeking.
Gates said he will put pressure on NATO to provide more soldiers in order to bolster war efforts in Afghanistan's turbulent south.
NATO acknowledged Wednesday the need for more troops in southern Afghanistan, but denied that it was not working hard enough to provide the additional support.
"Canada has played and continues to play a very important role in a strategically important part of Afghanistan and we would like to see that role continue," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said in Brussels, according to a Reuters report.
"Certainly NATO will, to the extent that we can, support any efforts to garner more forces, including for the south. We have a long-standing request to nations to provide additional resources."
The House of Commons is expected to vote on Canada's future in Afghanistan this spring.
Even if Harper and his crew still want to stay in past 2009 without the requests met, the rest of the parties will jump on the chance to make sure we don't..... so we're either going to get what we need, or we leave.
Makes sense, considdering for the last number of years we've bitched and moaned for more support and nobody stepped up. Well they best now, or toodles.