AIMS Security and Defence Policy Intern, Alex Wilner analyzes Canada’s role in Afghanistan in this Commentary; Self-Interest or Self-Importance: Afghanistan’s Lessons for Canada’s Place in the Modern World. He highlights elements of recent policy debate and media focus on Canada’s role in Afghanistan that have been misconstrued.

Wilner points out that Afghanistan is well on its way to political, economic, and social recovery with the exception of the South of the country where conflict pits international and Afghan forces against a revisionist bloc espousing a return to the decades of fractious and brutal terror. Ensuring that battle is won is of the utmost importance for Afghanistan but also for Canada in that terrorist organizations operating there have repeatedly targeted Canada for attacks. 

For Canada the lesson then becomes one of patient resilience in facing a compounding threat. A renewed al Qaeda foothold in Afghanistan strengthens the organization’s ability to attack Canadians domestically and internationally. In response, Canadian citizens should expect their government to dispatch all diplomatic and military means to confront the threat leaching from Afghanistan.  To do otherwise invites considerable insecurity.

To read the Commentary, click here.