Canada and the World, Ep. 12: Attack in Afghanistan

A new podcast series from
and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

By: /
26 October, 2018

Afghanistan, once a daily news item in Canada, when the Canadian Armed Forces were on the ground in Kandahar Province, has fallen off the radar for many Canadians. On October 18, a suspected Taliban-led attack killed Kandahar’s police chief, General Abdul Raziq, and reminded many around the world of the continued fragile state of the country, despite the end of the NATO-led security mission in 2014.

What was the significance of the attack, just days before parliamentary elections, and what is the state of the peace process there today? “There are some positive signs, but overall it’s not looking very good,” says Mark Sedra, one of three guests who joined host Bessma Momani to discuss the challenges facing the country, the reception of President Ashraf Ghani, the growth of the Taliban and the Islamic State, and whether there has been progress on issues such as women’s rights.

This episode was recorded the week of the attack, just ahead of last weekend’s vote.

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media. 

This week’s guests

Mark Sedra is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. His current research focuses on peace-building and state-building issues in conflict-affected countries. He has conducted research on a number of countries and regions, including Northern Ireland, the Middle East and the Balkans; however, the bulk of his research in recent years has centered on Afghanistan.

Bushra Ebadi is a research fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Prior to joining CIGI, Bushra was a journal editor and designer for the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, a Paris summer innovation fellow, compliance analyst for the G20 Research Group and a humanitarian affairs intern at the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Secretariat — UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva.

Mariam Mufti is an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo. She is a comparative political scientist by training. She works on regime change and political participation in hybrid regimes. In particular, her research focuses on the role of the military and political parties in the processes of recruitment and selection of the political elite in Pakistan as a way to understand the behaviour of political leadership and regime dynamics.

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications. 

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter