Despite the controversy surrounding his government's decision to extend the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says there's no need to put the move to a vote.

Talking to reporters at the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, Harper said because the mission extension is focused on training rather than combat, Parliament doesn't need to approve it.

"If you're going to put troops into combat, into a war situation, I do think for the sake of legitimacy, I do think the government does require the support of Parliament. But when we're talking simply about technical or training missions, I do think that's something the executive can do on its own," Harper said.

Although their input into the decision isn't needed, the prime minister nevertheless invited Parliamentarians to discuss it all they want.

"If they have any specific ideas they want to share, I'm not resistant to having debates on that matter in the House of Commons," Harper said. "But I do think that when it comes to decisions such as this, the government has to be able to be free to act."

Canadian troops are slated to end their combat mission in Afghanistan next July. Harper has said the extended mission would be strictly non-combat, and would likely last from 2011 to 2014.

According to some reports, the complement of soldiers and support staff staying on in a training capacity will be between 600 and 1,000.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay suggested that a decision about an extended role for Canadian troops in Afghanistan could be made before Nov. 18.

NATO is due to hold a leaders' summit in Portugal on that date, and MacKay said the government may decide on Canada's future role in Afghanistan prior to that meeting.

However, the entire debate hinges on the definition and actual activities of the training mission, said Alain Pellerin, a retired Canadian army colonel.

He told CTV's Power Play that Canadian troops could be stationed "behind the wire" in Kabul, where they would be aiding new recruits in rudimentary training procedures.

Canadian troops would also help to "instill discipline" in new Afghan recruits and help them prepare for the next stage in their training, which would include heading into more dangerous environs.

At that point, a more involved training mission could also result in troops heading to Helmand and Kandahar for in-field mentoring and training, where clashes with the Taliban are always a possibility.

"One is a benign environment, if you can call Kabul a benign environment. The other is a state of war in the south," said Pellerin, differentiating between the two different training scenarios.

However, while Canada's combat role appears to be drawing to a close, Pellerin said that many troops feel as if they are leaving before the mission is completed.

As it stands now, there is a shortfall of trainers as NATO needs to ensure that Afghanistan has a standing army and a functioning police force.

However, if Canada maintains a training role in Afghanistan until the scheduled scale down of the NATO mission, the Canadian Forces "can saw they were part of that success story."

Weighing in on the debate, military analyst Scott Taylor said he is baffled by the government's position.

"There's no creativity in this move," Taylor said in an interview from Ottawa Friday, suggesting that the question should really be why, after nine years, Afghan forces aren't already trained well enough to take over the duties on their own.

According to Taylor, the estimated 15,000 Taliban insurgents currently active in Afghanistan are heavily outnumbered by the 275,000 Afghan police and soldiers already trained by Canadian forces and their allies.

"They are not motivated to the same degree the Taliban are," Taylor said, explaining that the foreign-trained Afghan forces now amount to "a monster" of our creation.

"The police and military are quite often seen as tools of the corruption, that then becomes the face of corruption for the (Hamid) Karzai government," Taylor said. "And now to hear that we're going to create a bigger monster for a longer period of time is very disappointing."

With files from The Associated Press