*This story has been picked up by Mike Harris 580 CFRA and Maclean's*
The Manley Panel's Report came out today, I have just completed reading it as well as another interesting report, John Manely's contribution to a journal, Policy Options. In the October issue of that journal, John Manley wrote an entry on Afghanistan, this was before he was picked to head the 5 person panel appointed by Stephen Harper. In reading both, two passages struck me. They were not only similar, but bordering on exactly the same.
Why this troubles me is two points: the first, it seems quite perplexing how John Manley's opinion before he spent three months looking at facts and talking to witnesses can be so similar to his opinion after; the second point, is plagerism and how it affects the Panel. Now some may suggest this is not plagiarism, academically it is; but besides that fact, the references I give, by his use of old material in the forward of the report and imposing it on the work done by the Panel, it appears that he attributes conclusions he made seperately and previously, onto the Panel. (Update) The Blog Far And Wide has put forth another interesting facet, John Manley made Canada's presence contingent on NATO sending in reinforcements, and suggesting that NATO could go either way, yet it appears he would have had access to the knowledge such reinforcements were agreed upon several months ago.
Now a few commenters have suggested I am just suggesting self-plagiarism, I am not. I am clearly suggesting either the Panel came to the exact same position John Manley did three months ago, which would seem incredibly biased, or John Manly falsely cited work done by the Panel which did not do. For example look at the first reference I give.
I will put a paragraph of one on top of the other for comparison.
On page 4 of the Manley Report it states:
Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, there was never any hesitation: “We want you to stay; we need you to stay.” Without the presence of the international security forces, they said, chaos would surely ensue.Now compare that to what John Manley wrote three months ago, on page 12 in Policy Options:
Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, they did not hesitate to say that we must stay. Without the presence of the international forces, chaos would surely ensue.This plagiarism not only leaves me wondering why Manley would do this, but also wondering did the Panel ever ask Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do? Or was that just something John Manley had done for his Journal article, and re-wrote almost word for word for the Report?
The similarity continues, as seen first in reference to the Panel's report:
The Panel learned early that we must be careful to define our expectations for success. Afghanistan is a deeply divided tribal society. It has been wracked by decades of war and is one of the poorest countries on Earth. There should be no thought that after five or even ten years of western military presence and aid, Afghanistan will resemble Europe or North America. But we came to the conviction that with patience, commitment, financial and other forms of assistance, there is a reasonable prospect that its people will be able to liveCompared to the Journal Article Manle written three months ago:
together in relative peace and security, while living standards slowly improve.
But in looking to the future, expectations must be reasonable. Afghanistan is a deeply divided tribal society, with divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims further complicating the mix. It has been racked by decades of war, and it remains the third-poorest country on earth. There should be no belief that after five or even ten years of Western military presence and aid, Afghanistan will resemble Kansas. With patience, commitment and some luck, it will resemble Afghanistan. But an Afghanistan in which people can live together in relative security.So in the Report from the Manley Panel, John Manley, in plagiarizing his article, suggests that the Panel as a whole came to the same conclusion he did three months ago. Therefore we are faced with either the fact the Panel came to the same decision Manley did three months prior or the fact that Manley is falsifying the report.
Further more, from the Report:
Institutions that are respected need to be built and the Afghan National Army and Police need to be further recruited and trained.Comparing it with the Journal Article:
Agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so
that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.
Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Government of
Afghanistan must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the hope for an
Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to
help secure the situation.
Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans
can see progress.
With all that needs to be done, no end date makes sense at this point.
Afghanistan presents an opportunity for Canada. For the first time in many years,
we have brought a level of commitment to an international problem that gives us
real weight and credibility. For once, our 3Ds (defense, diplomacy and
development assistance) are all pointed at the same problem, and officials from
three departments are beginning to work together.
Institutions that are respected will not be built overnight. Police and judges will need time to be trained, and the means to pay them must be established, but a functioning economy needs security in which to grow.
Afghanistan’s agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.
Punishing US and European agricultural subsidies must be rolled back if Afghanistan and other developing countries are ever to hope to grow produce (other than opium) for export. Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Karzai administration must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the only hope for an Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to help secure the situation. Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans can see progress. We love to do what we call “capacity-building”, which is doubtless very important, but invisible to the average villager in an Afghan province.
For me, Afghanistan is an enormous opportunity for Canada. For the first time in many years, we have brought a level of commitment to an international problem that gives us real weight and credibility. For once, our 3Ds (defence, diplomacy and development assistance) are all pointed at the same problem, and officials from three departments are working together.
And lastly John Manley's and the Panel's conclusion:
Canadians don’t need any lessons in sacrifice. Our history is replete with examples of courage and fortitude in conflict against difficult odds when the cause was just and the determination to prevail was present.But our Panel concluded that the sacrifice of Canadian lives could only be justified if we and our allies and the Afghans share a coherent, comprehensive plan that can lead to success, and if our allies are willing to stand with us with the resources and commitment that are necessary to make success possible.Compare that to John Manley's conclusion three months ago, again prior to him being appointed to this Panel:
We like to talk about Canada’s role in the world. Well, we have a meaningful one in Afghanistan. As our report states, it should not be faint-hearted nor should it be open-ended. Above all, we must not abandon it prematurely.
Rather, we should use our hard-earned influence to ensure the job gets done and gets done properly.
Canadians hear mainly about our military role and are hardpressed to put it into a broader context of either peacekeeping, development or humanitarianism. They should hear more about the important and meaningful contribution our development assistance is making and they should be proud of the increasingly effective nature of Canada’s diplomacy, spearheaded at a very senior level by Associate Deputy Minister David Mulroney and Ambassador Lalani.In looking at the extraordinary duplication of Manley's personal opinion three months ago, to the now Panel's Report Forward, I find it difficult to differentiate what Manley had concluded three months prior to the report, to what the Panel actually concluded and if they are actually different.
We often seek to define Canada’s role in the world. Well, for whatever reason, we have one in Afghanistan. Let’s not abandon it too easily. But let’s use our hard-earned influence to make sure the job is done right.