Sometimes The Long Way Home Is The Better Way, Part II
UPDATE: My apologies. When I first posted this, I didn’t realize that the Read More link at the bottom was defective. Not until I read Guy’s comment. So if anyone would like to read ‘the rest of the story’, as they say, this time please follow the link.
The global shock of 9/11 created broad international concern at the time that no country could remain immune to similar attacks from terrorist groups in the future; a consensus rapidly emerged that joint international action was required to eliminate such groups and their sanctuaries wherever they werel ocated. President George W. Bush unambiguously demanded that all countries align themselves as â€œeither with the U.S. or against itâ€ in the struggle. Canada initially responded to the challenge by mobilizing air and naval forces and then secretly sent Joint Task Force Two (JTF2) troops to Afghanistan in late 2001. A larger contingent of 750 Canadian soldiers was then sent to Kandahar in February 2002 for a period of six months. Afghanistan became a symbolically key state in the broader effort to deter radical Islamic jihadism, particularly given its past role as host to al-Qaâ€™ida under the Taliban.
Seems like such a long time ago now. Almost a lifetime, in some ways. Funny how, as I recall, not too many had much trouble with the whole idea of the US invading Afghanistan to rout out the Taliban after 9/11. And I don’t recall many, if any, having any problem with the idea of Canadian troops deploying to Afghanistan to do our part. Admittedly, Iraq was always a different story. But not Afghanistan.
So where are we now, over six years later and with 2,500 Canadian soldiers in country? Depending on who you want to believe, and how recently they were conducted, polls would tell us that anywhere from 50% to 60% of Canadians feel that our troops should be brought home as soon as possible. And why is that? Well, it might have something to do with the 78 young men and women that have been killed in a country so far away from home. Might. Yeah, right. Just might.