Comments on Canada's Role in Afghanistan

February 18, 2009

PBS Newshour

Watch the full video here.

"TOM BEARDEN: The economy isn't the only relationship on Canadians' minds. About 2,800 Canadian troops serve in Afghanistan, more than seven years into the war. More than 100 have been killed, many of them by improvised explosive devices like the one that wrecked this vehicle, now in the Canadian War Museum.Roland Paris is the director of the Center for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa.

ROLAND PARIS, director, Center for International Policy Studies: Canadians have suffered a disproportionately high number of casualties. So the absolute number of casualties as being 108 soldiers and now, in absolute numbers, that might not seem terribly high to an American audience, but it's very high compared to the number of total number of troops that we have serving and also considering the fact that Canada really hasn't been involved in serious ground combat operations since the early 1950s in the Korean War.

So this has been a transformative and wrenching experience for a country that came to view its military as a peacekeeping force."

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

rparis@uottawa.ca

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@rolandparis

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