Richard Gwyn’s False Choice

In a column yesterday, Richard Gwyn claimed that the real choice over the Afghan mission was over whether we become an “isolationist nation” or not. I’m tired of being presented with this mission in these sorts of terms. Opposing, or even questioning this mission has more to do with practical realities than it does with whether or not someone is an internationalist or not. It would be nice to help Afghanistan but I remain convinced that we simply cannot make a lasting, meaningful difference. When the last of Rick Hillier’s fancy heavy lift transport aircraft take off from the Kandahar airstrip I have no good reason to believe that the country will not deteriorate again and almost immediately. Maybe I’m too cynical, but this is what I get from looking at the history both of Afghanistan and of decolonization.


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