Mixed reactions to Canada’s exit from Afghanistan

As yesterday’s top secret ceremony brought Canada’s mission in Afghanistan to a close, mixed feelings are surfacing about the military occupation.

CBC says media were not allowed to report on the ceremony for security reasons, which are still a concern even after Canada’s 12-year mission. 

The heavily-guarded ceremony took place at NATO headquarters in Kabul and included the remaining one hundred Canadian soldiers.The Canadian flag was removed from its post.

During the ceremony, Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons praised the soldiers’ actions and reiterated their positive influence on Afghanistan’s future. Back in Canada, opinions on the success of Canada’s Afghanistan mission are less positive.

Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom commented on the ever shifting rationale behind Canada’s position in Afghanistan. He also noted the drastic difference in casualty numbers.

Canada lost 158  soldiers, two civilian contractors, one journalist and one diplomat in 12 years. Afghanistan lost at least 14, 000 civilians in only part of that period. Walkom argued those are unfortunate tallies for a seemingly pointless war.

Star columnist Rosie DiManno also commented on the war’s questionable progress. The article spoke about her experience reporting in the country. DiManno says as troops leave Afghanistan, the Taliban is “re-energized” and waiting to take back the vulnerable country.

Regardless of the outcome, the war is now over for Canada. The few Canadian military members remaining in Afghanistan will be home by the end of the week.

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