[W]hile I still feel that it shouldn't be debated now - waffling is bad for morale, and I don't see how the situation could've changed that much since we first agreed to it, old gov't or not - answering Layton's questions during one or more question periods seems reasonable to me:
* What are the goals and objectives of this mission and how do they meet Canada's foreign policy objectives?
* What is the realistic mandate of the mission and how is it being enforced?
* What are the criteria to measure progress?
* What is the definition of success?
* And what is the clear exit strategy for this mission?
Reading the news this morning, I realized Rex Murphy did a much better job - than Layton, and certainly me - of isolating the major problem, and, very importantly, suggesting a way forward. I particularly liked this passage:
[F]rom the very beginning of this mission, from the long ago days of Mr. Chrétien through Mr. Martin's term as prime minister to this present moment, a clear, full, articulated case for the mission has not been made.
We've had everything else but the full statement of why the mission is important to us as Canadians, how it relates to our national interest and values and a full description of what we hope to see as a result of our troops being there.
Well said, Rex; well said.