In the latter half of 2001, Taliban rule ended in Afghanistan and thus Canada began its military involvement. This policy has been very controversial, as with any military endeavour, and the Canadian government has suffered unending questions as to the reason for its military presence in the war-torn country. The stand our country has taken on its decision to become involved in post-war Afghanistan is that it is simply for the rebuilding of the nation. While Canadian citizens remain in the dark as to what practises and policies are being used overseas in this mission, the one thing that has become clear is that ours is one of the major military exploits currently engaged in Afghanistan, along with the U.S. and Great Britain and smaller contributions by other nations.
Our involvement in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the implementation of a free democracy has been wholehearted in that our country has not been involved in larger engagement like the Iraq war and has therefore had more troops available to take on the strategic placements. Because of this, it has been assumed for some time that after Britain handed over responsibility for heading the NATO task force, the job would fall to Canadian NATO leaders. Not so! The Independent has said this week that this position has been handed over to American forces instead ? Canadian media has remained quiet on the subject so far.
Canadians can only wonder where this leaves our troops in the rebuilding. Harper’s minority government has insisted for some time that our presence in Afghanistan is entirely necessary, against many detractors who feel that this military exploit is simply the Canadian way of subtly supporting American reformation in the Middle East while pushing the no vote toward spotlighted issues like the Iraq War. It can surely be no secret that our central role in the Afghanistan crisis was aimed not only at rebuilding the nation but at putting the Canadian forces in a position of power that is seldom otherwise gained. Maybe with the job given to an already overstretched American military, Canada can take a step back and really gain some perspective on its role in the Middle Eastern crisis. Harper might have the time to listen to his country now instead of working toward a military conquest. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?
Reference: Sengupta, Kim, “Britain hands over Afghanistan to US” (5 February 2007). The Independent.