A Human Security Critique of Canada’s Afghanistan Policy

March 18, 2008

Lauryn Oates argues in the March 14, 2008 Globe and Mail that Canada needs to reshape its approach to Afghanistan by “finding constructive solutions to the underlying problems plaguing Afghanistan and to the issues that Afghans point to as priorities, and not merely to our own insular interests.”

“We are missing the boat on Afghanistan. By focusing debate disproportionately on deploying troops and extending Canada’s mission, we have created space for the real spoilers in that country to wreak havoc unimpeded.

Those spoilers include wretched poverty, deforestation, corruption in government and in NGOs, a lack of support to the agricultural sector, aid that lacks monitoring and regular assessment, little access to quality higher education, growing unemployment, and a failure to build Afghanistan’s human resources and professional capacity. Failure to change our approach and to raise our level of investment in these issues is what will ultimately make a permanent peace in Afghanistan impossible.”

Read the full editorial here.

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