There is growing concern within Canada about the Afghan quagmire which has caused their nation to become stuck in a fight that has no end, and seemingly, no purpose. They are disgusted at the porous Pakistan border which protects Taliban insurgents and allows them refuge from NATO and American attacks. janice Stein, of the University of Toronto says in her new book, “The Unexpected War,” that the Canadian government really did not know very much about Afghanistan, but wanted to help a traumatized America reeling from the 9/11 attacks. She argues the Bush administration wanted cover for its real target- Iraq – and asked Canada to supply troops in order that Americans could be diverted for the invasion of Iraq.
The problem of Afghanistan is that once Bush decided on attacking Iraq, his administration lost real interest in Afghanistan which became a secondary operation. Afghanistan was left without sufficient military forces to carry out operations against the Taliban who were allowed to recuperate in the safety of Pakistan until they were ready to return to action. According to James Travers, writing in the Toronto Star, “So even if many Canadians don’t yet grasp how we unwittingly drifted into a war or why the government determined to keep fighting it, there should be no surprise that the mission is so problematic. With scattered strategies and varying degrees of enthusiasm, coalition partners are trying to do at minimum cost a job that demands maximum effort.” Perhaps, the next president of the United States will have to make a decision for undertaking a major operation or allowing Afghanistan to drift further into chaos.