Canadian Involvement in Afghanistan: Is Humanitarian Intervention Justified?

Topics: Human rights, Canada, NATO Pages: 5 (1812 words) Published: March 19, 2012
Intervention means to enter or appear as an irrelevant or extraneous feature or circumstance. The diction expressing irrelevance and extraneous appearance undoubtedly applies to the concept of humanitarian intervention. Despite the proposed intentions of humanitarian intervention, it is often clear that it is not effective in creating sustainable long-term solutions to long-term issues. Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan outlines six priorities that all focus on imposing a democratic system. These priorities call for critique on the fact that a government “by the people” is being developed by an extraneous force. Human intervention does not produce an independent democratic body but a dependent state as a new source for exploitation. Canada’s involvement temporarily addresses civil rights issues but at the expense of substantial progress for Afghanistan itself. Presence of military forces in Afghanistan neither tames security and safety threats posed by extremist groups. In fact civilian deaths and other negative outcomes occurring during military occupation will be attributed to Canadian forces and this puts the future safety of the country at risk. Therefore Canada should not be involved in Afghanistan if motivated by development of long-term solutions and protecting their self-interests. These ideas will be examined to substantiate how the extraction of Canadian forces in Afghanistan will offer potential for long term solutions to human rights issues and protect the interests of both Afghani and Canadian people, demonstrating normative thinking and the assumptions associated with economic structuralist thinking.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (hereby referred to as NATO) engagement in Afghanistan is focused on developing the country as a democratic body which includes priorities geared towards establishing effective law and justice systems. However attempts to implement this sort of system have violated the very laws that are trying to be established to preserve human rights. A prominent example of this violation would be NATO’s current interest in arming Mujahedeen commanders, guerrilla fighters formed and utilized during the Soviet occupation, in efforts to recruit police forces. Carlotta Gall describes the mujahedeen as having “fearsome reputations...have deep links in communities that can be revived to gather intelligence and raise forces quickly” also among saying that many are apprehensive in employing “loosely controlled, private militias”. It is evident that given vital resources that the Mujahedeen have the capabilities needed to obtain unregulated authority and that their mobilization may disenfranchise Afghani civilians in the immediate future. If contentious issues were to arise between the Mujahedeen and the council in place to oversee them it seems all too possible that they could utilize their deeply rooted presence in the community to facilitate a revolt. Simply put, committing to the support of this group in hopes of an environment that ensures conservation of simple human rights is a direct risk of the human rights trying to be protected. As put by Paul de Rooij “"'Humanitarian bombing'. It is difficult to concoct a nicer oxymoron" . It is rather convincing that Canadian presence in Afghanistan is creating an unsustainable environment with more injustice and less security for the Afghani people. As said by journalist Margaret Wente “Afghanistan – ugly, violent place where high-minded moral interventions are often futile, or worse” . This imagery is reminiscent of the landscape that Afghanistan is left to face with due to Canadian forces using ‘band-aid’ solutions for complex issues. If these are the solutions Canadians can offer, than the presence of military forces pose more of a detriment than a benefit to the future prosperity of Afghanistan. If intentions geared towards Afghanistan are focused on creating a stable environment, secure for those who live in it Canadian forces should...
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