Thursday, August 20, 2009

Canada/Afghanistan Follow Up [updated]

I didn't have enough space in my op-ed to provide evidence of Canadian leadership/influence in or due to Afghanistan. Here are some examples:
  1. Canadians held/hold key leadership positions within the NATO mission, including Deputy Commander of ISAF in 2003-2004, Commander of ISAF in 2004, Commander of Kabul's Multinational Brigade in 2003 and 2004, Commander of Regional Command South on a rotating basis since 2006; commanding the units of other countries that operate in Kandahar province;
  2. Canada had a team of officers (Strategic Advisory Team) embedded in the highest levels of several Afghan ministries for several years.
  3. the deputy of the UN mission was a prominent Canadian for much of the time
  4. In discussions within NATO for planning in Afghanistan, Canadian voices were louder and more influential than those of countries that are usually seen as more powerful, such as Germany and France.
  5. The current model of whole of government and clear/hold/build is a Canadian one.
Just a few examples. Still, I am a "servile academic minion" according to one commenter at the Globe and Mail's website.

And, many of the critics of my post recommended that I quit my position and enlist in the Canadian Forces. I could have made clearer that I do feel awkward making recommendations about what Canada should do, given that it does involve the sacrifice of mostly young Canadian men and women. But these things do have word limits--unlike my blog.

1 comment:

Phil L said...

Hey Steve,

Those all are examples of influence at the operational level. What about the political strategic level? i.e. does this 'influence' result in anything tangible outside of Afghanistan?