From Kabul to Kandahar: Change and the Canadian Forces
41 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 29 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
Occasionally the policy world creates a “natural experiment,” where a striking series of events creates dramatically different before-and-after conditions that can challenge existing understandings of political situations and relationships. The Canadian Forces (CF) who are engaged in operations in Afghanistan have recently undergone such a natural experiment, experiencing multiple major changes almost simultaneously. The keystone that cemented all these was the change in their primary location of deployment: the move from Kabul to Kandahar in August 2005. What had begun as a complex peace and stability operation, of the kind that seemed familiar to Canadians ever since the cold war ended in the early 1990s, morphed into a classic counterinsurgency operation, of a kind that Canada had not seen since the Boer War at the turn of the last century.
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