“Was it Worth It? Canadian Intervention in Afghanistan and Perceptions of Success and Failure.” Canadian Military Journal Vol. 14 No. 1.

“Was it Worth It? Canadian Intervention in Afghanistan and Perceptions of Success and Failure.” Canadian Military Journal Vol. 14 No. 1.

SOAAFG

This piece was written in response to a plethora of fuzzy thinking I encountered at an academic conference in Winnipeg. It was evident that the Canadian media had set the agenda by establishing what its members believe to be the important questions regarding Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan and those questions were in many ways parroted uncritically by elements in the academic community. I was forced by circumstances to identify the problem and address it from my perspective as the Canadian Army’s historian for the war. The piece was supposed to be published as a compendium of the lectures from the conference but for some reason the organizers did not respond to my attempts to communicate with them on the status of the piece over the course of two years. This sort of unprofessional behavior mimics that employed by elements in the Canadian media and the Canadian bureaucracy when they are confronted with ideas that challenge them. To have it employed in an academic setting is somewhat strange because we are supposed to be above that kind of thing. The Silent Treatment is, apparently, now considered a form of bullying. Some who felt slighted by the piece Twittered amongst themselves like a clutch of 14 year old Junior High School girls rather than addressing the critique like adults, which was rather amusing when the verbiage was passed to me by interested parties. I have resisted posting it here because I can only laugh so long without my sides hurting every time I read it. Fortunately, other elements in the media, specifically Terry Glavin, Christie Blatchford, and Rex Murphy, saw the importance of the critique and ensured that it reached a broader audience. The fight continues as the meme returns from time to time.

 

This was originally published in Canadian Military Journal.Canadian Military Journal Vol 14. No 1_