No Troops in Iraq: Pettigrew
"Prime Minister Martin has always been very clear that our contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq would not bring boots to the ground"Pettigrew commented from Jordan in the midst of his journey to the Middle East. Canadian officials are expecting the US to press NATO to aid with training of Iraqi forces at the group's summit February 22nd in Belgium.
Pettigrew did raise the possibility of training forces in a neighbouring country, but pledged that Canada would not place troops inside Iraq.
The opposition had a field day this weekend when word leaked that Canada might yet send troops to Iraq. However, Conservative Defense Critic Gordon O'Connor voiced support for training Iraqis in a neighbouring nation.
A group of twenty Canadians are already stationed in Jordan where they are training Iraqi police in Western law enforcement techniques.
1,449 Americans have been killed in Iraq, while over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have perished in the conflict.