Various excuses have been offered for the Afghan war, including the need to capture Osama Bin Laden, to oust the Taliban, to establish democracy, to help the Afghan people, etc., but several years into the war, none of these objectives has been achieved, and all impartial observers agree that the war is going very badly. Dozens of Canadian soldiers have died, and thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed or injured. The Afghan government is corrupt and full of criminal warlords. There is great physical insecurity throughout the country, and in the south where Canadian troops are stationed, the situation is particularly bad. The Taliban operate at will throughout many parts of the country.
As bad as this reality is, even worse is the fact that in joining this war as America’s junior partner, and in trying to impose peace through warfare, Canada has abandoned its traditional peace-keeping role. Canada has also been shown to have followed a policy of transferring prisoners of war to the Afghan military, which in several cases has tortured or abused prisoners. This unjust, ill-planned, and un-winable war has done nothing but sully Canada’s good name and cause much misery all around.
The government says we cannot “cut and run” and that we must “support our troops”, yet it places our troops in harm’s way for no good reason, and keeps them there simply to blindly support the U.S. Peace cannot be imposed, and Afghanistan has proven that. The Council recognizes that the only way to achieve peace is through negotiation, and so we call on the government to bring our troops home.