It now seems entirely clear that Afghanistan will not become a liberal democratic state as a consequence of the US/NATO intervention. Where once politicians spoke of a conversion akin to those of Germany and Japan after World War II, the highest ambitions now seem to be for a state that is internally coherent, able to defend its borders, and unwilling to play host to Al Qaeda sorts. Gross disrespect for women’s rights, a theological bent to government, and the continued existence of warlords all seem to have become acceptable in the eyes of the interveners, or at least inevitable.
Given that, what should the objectives of those states currently fielding troops there be? Are there any special considerations for Canada? At this point, what would ‘success’ and ‘failure’ look like, and how good and bad would they be for Afghans, Canadians, and the world at large?