As the number of Canadian fatalities in Afghanistan increases, support for the military mission among ordinary Canadians diminishes.
So where do we go from here? Perhaps the principal grounds for objecting to our continuing military role in Afghanistan is the “just war” theory relating to the likelihood of success. Afghanistan has been turbulent for centuries. To justify NATO’S (and Canada’s) role, there have to be reasons to believe that we can succeed where other military powers, such as the Soviet Union in the eighties and Britain in the nineteenth century, have failed.
Certainly we cannot achieve success without sufficient forces. Most NATO countries have no forces in Afghanistan and, among those who do, several keep their forces out of harm’s way. Canada’s fatalities are disproportinate to the size of our mission and our country.
For these reasons, among others, I would argue that we should withdraw our forces from Afghanistan in February, 2009, if not sooner. And, as Liberal leader Stephane Dion advocates, the Harper government should immediately inform NATO and the Kharzi government to that effect.