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LETTER: Lessons from Afghanistan

From reader Charles Jeanes

The USA is finally withdrawing all military presence from Afghanistan, 20 years after 9/11. The military solution to complex issues failed again, as it did in Vietnam and many other places where a major state intervened in a weaker country to create the order the intervenor wanted. American power cannot construct Afghanistan in the image the West wants there.

Canada and its NATO allies also participated. We lost 158 soldiers to meaningless deaths — though to say this enrages the soldiers’ families and the Legion. I actively protested our involvement from start to finish.

Did we learn from the failure in Afghanistan? I greatly fear we did not. Canada will do something similar in future, for reasons we will be told are good causes — democracy, rights, etc. The one lesson of all armed interventions since 1960 by powerful developed states — including by China and Russia — into the affairs of poor weak ones? Don’t intervene militarily, use other means to cut off roots under problems. Politico-economic solutions are beyond the competence of armies.

Canadians should educate themselves about this intervention’s history, wear white poppies, and prepare to resist the next war.

Charles Jeanes

Nelson

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