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A Third Option for Canadas Role in Afghanistan Joanna Santa Barbara McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies Physicians for Global survival – Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "A Third Option for Canadas Role in Afghanistan Joanna Santa Barbara McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies Physicians for Global survival – Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Third Option for Canadas Role in Afghanistan Joanna Santa Barbara McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies Physicians for Global survival – Canada TRANSCEND – A Peace and Development Organization

2 Why a Third Option? 2 options on the table now: 1. Search and destroy war-fighting + reconstruction to win hearts and minds 1. Search and destroy war-fighting + reconstruction to win hearts and minds 2. Troops out now. 2. Troops out now.

3 Whats the Third Option? Stop war-fighting Stop war-fighting Keep on with peace support operations Keep on with peace support operations Support peace dialogues Support peace dialogues Support reconciliation processes Support reconciliation processes

4 Why should Canadians stop war- fighting? Its unwinnable Its unwinnable Its making things worse Its making things worse - by unnecessary deaths of Afghan and coalition soldiers, and Afghan civilians - by unnecessary deaths of Afghan and coalition soldiers, and Afghan civilians - by unnecessary infrastructure damage - by unnecessary infrastructure damage - by strengthening the relationship of the opposition with Al Qaeda - by strengthening the relationship of the opposition with Al Qaeda - by attracting recruits to the armed opposition - by attracting recruits to the armed opposition Canada is fighting on one side of a civil war Canada is fighting on one side of a civil war

5 Conflict Analysis Before 9/11, vicious civil war: Before 9/11, vicious civil war: Northern Alliance vs Taliban and Party of Islam 9/11 -> US-led coalition invades Afghanistan, allies with NA; routs Taliban and Party of Islam 9/11 -> US-led coalition invades Afghanistan, allies with NA; routs Taliban and Party of Islam Bonn Agreements 2001: between US and NA. Bonn Agreements 2001: between US and NA. ??????? ??????? Taliban and Party of Islam take to arms. Al Qaeda joins them, as do many disaffected Afghans with various grievances. Taliban and Party of Islam take to arms. Al Qaeda joins them, as do many disaffected Afghans with various grievances.

6 Why not troops out now? Civil war would resume -> large-scale death and destruction Civil war would resume -> large-scale death and destruction The fragile accomplishments of democracy and development would likely be lost The fragile accomplishments of democracy and development would likely be lost Dr. Sima Samar (Afghan human rights leader): If youre thinking of removing Canadian troops, please tell me the date, so I can catch the first plane out.

7 Where does analysis lead us? Explore peaceful options of bringing armed opposition into democratic process at political level Explore peaceful options of bringing armed opposition into democratic process at political level Support reconciliation process for reintegration of armed opposition people at community level Support reconciliation process for reintegration of armed opposition people at community level

8 Is this feasible? How to find out?.

9 The work of the McMaster group in Afghanistan: Directed to war-affected children – mental health and peace education Directed to war-affected children – mental health and peace education Directed to war-affected adults – mental health and peace education Directed to war-affected adults – mental health and peace education Directed to civil servants, politicians of all stripes, journalists, youth, NGOs: Directed to civil servants, politicians of all stripes, journalists, youth, NGOs: - conflict analysis - conflict analysis - conflict transformation - conflict transformation - nonviolence - nonviolence - reconciliation - reconciliation - peace journalism - peace journalism

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11 Dr. Seddiq Weeras probe dialogues: To Taliban leaders To Taliban leaders To Party of Islam leaders To Party of Islam leaders To ethnic faction leaders To ethnic faction leaders To Northern Alliance leader To Northern Alliance leader To 10 cabinet Ministers in the Afghan government To 10 cabinet Ministers in the Afghan government To Canadian expatriate Afghans - Peshtun and nonPeshtun, Afghan womens group To Canadian expatriate Afghans - Peshtun and nonPeshtun, Afghan womens group

12 . All support the Third Option idea All support the Third Option idea

13 Next steps: Canadian campaign to persuade government to Canadian campaign to persuade government to - stop-war-fighting - stop-war-fighting - resume peace support operations - resume peace support operations - support peace dialogues - support peace dialogues - support reconciliation processes - support reconciliation processes

14 Stop war-fighting Every death from now on is an unnecessary death Every death from now on is an unnecessary death At transfer from US command to ISAF command, end search and destroy action At transfer from US command to ISAF command, end search and destroy action

15 Resume peace support operations Could include Nonviolent Peace Force Could include Nonviolent Peace Force

16 Support peace dialogues Does Canada have skills to do this? Does Canada have skills to do this? (Norway in Sri Lanka and Middle East) Should act with other Middle Powers in coalition or with UN. Should act with other Middle Powers in coalition or with UN. Should be informed by peace professionals Should be informed by peace professionals

17 Support reconciliation processes Independent National Commission on Strengthening Peace in Afghanistan. Independent National Commission on Strengthening Peace in Afghanistan. Needs financial and skill support Needs financial and skill support UN Reconciliation body UN Reconciliation body

18 Opposition to these ideas: Spoilers in Afghan armed opposition, those who dont want peace Spoilers in Afghan armed opposition, those who dont want peace Hard-line Northern Alliance people who want power to reside mainly with NA. Hard-line Northern Alliance people who want power to reside mainly with NA. Canadians who can see only military solutions to violent conflict, and support the war on terror Canadians who can see only military solutions to violent conflict, and support the war on terror Canadians who dont understand the dangers of immediate loss of peace support functions Canadians who dont understand the dangers of immediate loss of peace support functions If any success for a negotiated solution looks possible, US administration will not want a bad example to suggest a negotiated solution in Iraq. If any success for a negotiated solution looks possible, US administration will not want a bad example to suggest a negotiated solution in Iraq.

19 Next steps for Canadians: Join developing campaign Join developing campaign See website for articles on Third Option position: afghan See website for articles on Third Option position: afghan Visit MP to put these arguments Visit MP to put these arguments Write op-eds and letters to editor Write op-eds and letters to editor React to every Canadian death as unnecessary, because there is a good alternative to war- fighting. React to every Canadian death as unnecessary, because there is a good alternative to war- fighting.

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