Hon. John Manley
Mr. Speaker, this is a serious question and not an easy one to answer.
Let me say there are principles that can coexist but are not mutually exclusive. One of the principles that is involved here is that we share a close degree of cooperation between Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and some other countries in terms of military cooperation. We are allies in NATO. The practice of having exchanges among officers is one that is well established. In this circumstance, while our troops are not there under the Canadian flag, clearly for certain principles which I have explained, some are there in fulfillment of exchange obligations.
They are involved in a conflict which we felt could have been resolved differently in the sense that a greater level of international consensus could have been achieved if more time had been allowed. We worked very hard at that. However, we share the ultimate objective of disarming the Saddam Hussein regime.
Therefore, the principle that they should fulfill their duties in accordance with their obligations to allied forces is a principle that can be respected at the same time. They do not necessarily become mutually exclusive principles.