Despite the grim and worsening realities of the war in Afghanistan, Canadians have been able to contribute to a better future for Afghans. Our engagement in particular is helping Afghans to begin providing more of the basic services that citizens of any country have a right to expect—schools for children, accessible health care, drinking water and reliable food supplies. We are helping to increase the capacity of the ANSF to maintain security. And we are helping Afghans create the institutions they need to achieve social stability, and to establish the rule of law that democracy requires.
This is a long, hard undertaking, with no easy or certain outcomes. It is one that we have shared with Afghans and with close friends and allies under UN authority, all with a common purpose—to protect international peace from the dangers that form in the violence of failed states. This has been a purpose that corresponds to Canadian values, and to Canada’s security.