Afghanistan’s 2014 Election: A Referendum Against the Taliban (Post)

April 5 was the day of Afghanistan’s historic election, a milestone in its history. I saw men and women, young and old, lined up in the rain-damped city to vote from dawn to dusk, exercising their democratic rights.  In 50 years of residence in Canada, I have not seen Canadians voting in such large numbers in perfect weather and safety conditions. Perhaps deve… Read More

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Pre-Election Reflections from Kabul (Post)

On April 5, the people of Afghanistan will vote in their third national election since 2001—a hundred million-dollar effort financed by international donors. The air is filled with anticipation and hope, albeit tempered with grave concerns held by both the international community and Afghans about the spiraling insecurity engulfing the country. In th… Read More

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An Ex-CIDA Officer’s Reflections on Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward (Post)

The departure of Canadian troops from Afghanistan does not mark the end of Canadian aid to that country. To move forward, however, Canada must accept the strategic mistakes of the past and record the lessons learned, not only to avoid the same pitfalls but to address public accountability requirements. The following reflections are intended to show why th… Read More

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The Truth About Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan (Post)

Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan officially ends this month. It began in 2001 with the dispatch of a small number of special operations troops to oust the Taliban and punish al-Qaeda militants in wake of the 9/11 attacks, and grew to include the deployment of a battle group to secure the southern province of Kandahar between 2006 and 2011. At its peak… Read More

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NATO, China and Afghanistan at the Security-Development Nexus (Post)

By Kirsten Van Houten and Benjamin Zyla Since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban in 2001, NATO has provided extensive security and development assistance to Afghanistan. While NATO is slated to withdraw from Afghanistan later this year, the international community must stay involved in the development and conflict mitigation processes th… Read More

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Reflections on Aid and Security in Afghanistan (Post)

This is a follow-up to the excellent and timely comments by Professor Roland Paris on the implications of an attack by the Taliban on a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul, a few weeks ago. Taliban attacks are common in Afghanistan, including in the heavily fortified capital city, Kabul. Armed guards, sniffing dogs, concrete barriers, road blocks, search checkp… Read More

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Implications of the Kabul Restaurant Attack (Post)

Since news broke of Friday’s horrific suicide attack on the largely foreign clientele of a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul, attention has understandably focused on the civilians who lost their lives, including two Canadians. But the event, which comes at a critical moment, could also have major implications for the international presence in Afghanistan.… Read More

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Event report: Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan’s Next Chapter (Post)

On September 12, journalist and author Ahmed Rashid spoke at CIPS on Pakistan’s current challenges and its prospects for coming years. The present situation, he declared at the outset, is grim. Three separate insurgencies are causing mayhem; the economy is crumbling; and an acute energy crisis is having huge impacts on national growth and development. T… Read More

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