KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Canada's defence minister says soldiers are making progress in their efforts to make Afghanistan a safer place, despite the claims of critics.
Peter MacKay toured a road construction project and a newly opened causeway over the Arghandab River during a whirlwind three-day tour.
He says those projects would have been impossible had security in Kandahar province not improved over the last year.
MacKay also says it will be up to the Canadian Forces to decide whether troops should be in Afghanistan for more than six months at a stretch.
He says Canada is focused on training Afghan soldiers and police so they can handle security once coalition forces leave.
MacKay says the 2011 timeline for Canada's Afghan mission will make it easier to decide how many boots on the ground Canada will need.