Hampson: How has Canada’s experience in Afghanistan changed Canadian foreign policy?

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27 June, 2011
By: Fen Osler Hampson
Director of the Global Security program and Distinguished Fellow at CIGI and Chancellor's Professor at Carleton University

Canada’s commitments in Afghanistan have been a defining, watershed moment in the history of this country’s international relations.  It is the most important mission our armed forces have been involved in since the Korean War.  It is a mission that has consumed the lion’s share of our biltaeral development assistance in the past decade. Diplomatically, we have played a key role in bringing Pakistan and Afghanistan to the negotiating table to discuss complex cross-border issues through the Canadian-facilitated “Dubai Process.”  Globally, we are seen as a country that punches well above its weight, having put Canadian lives and treasure on the line.  Looking ahead, the challenge is to harness our newfound global influence and credibility in ways that serve Canada’s national interests.

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