Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Weak Reasoning On Afghanistan

I saw this National Post article, where a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel tells us the ten reasons why would should be in Afghanistan. A couple of the reasons are certainly legitimate, but the fact the author insists on a David Letterman approach to war detracts from his arguments. Here are the ten reasons:
1.Canadian Security- You could argue our security is at stake by extension, but using the "fight them over there, before they get here" argument reminds me of Bush's Iraq rationalization.

2.Pride- What an assinine justification for our war footing. Violence and death so we can feel good about ourselves is hardly a moral standard.

3.Canada-US Relations- Huh? What a callous idea, to send troops into harm's way to so we don't rock the boat. Maybe we should have signed an agreement- we enter Afghanistan and you drop the softwood tariff.

4.Central Asian regional security- Okay, this has some validity. A stable Afghanistan is certainly good for the region, while instability tends to shake the entire reason. Agree or disagree, you can see the logic in this justification.

5.Treaty Obligations- We are part of NATO and have a mandate. In and of itself, I don't think this reasoning is strong enough on its own, but Canada does live up to its NATO commitments.

6.Reinforcing Success- The author makes the argument that Afghanistan has a great chance for sucess than other war-torn regions of the world, so our presence is best placed there. You could just as easily argue that Afghanistan has shown itself to be a complete mirage of a country, with a infinite history of upheaval that can't be fixed within the present borders.

7.Democracy- Obviously, Canada is interested in fostering conditions to make democracy flourish. However, it is not our role to force democracy on other societies. Are we invading China soon?

8.Rule of law and human rights- Of the entire list, this is the one that has the most relevance and/or moral footing. If there is one positive that could come from our mission it would be to see Afghans have greater personal freedom and rights.

9.Poppies- Merely mentioning such silly justifications, entirely detracts from legitimate points. I hope the invasion of British Columbia is successful.

10.Economics- The author mentions oil and natural gas as legitimate motivators. What a cynical reason for our presence in Afghanistan- opportunity.

Clearly a case of less is more when crafting a coherent argument. I would say two are valid reasons, with another two partial and the rest, your basic nonsense.


kevvyd said...

Surely you don't mean to suggest the National Pus would publish something weakly thought out?

Steve V said...


Are you suggesting a bias?

Anonymous said...

As you indicated we are putting our boys/girls in harms way. I do not think it is a good idea. None of the reason are that convincing.