As 2009 closed, Canada continued to make inroads on a number of key priorities and signature projects in Afghanistan, and continued to focus on creating an environment of stability and sustainability in Afghan security, governance and development. Where progress has been made this quarter, it has been earned through the determination and hard work of our military and civilian staff and through close collaboration with the Afghan government, our allies and other partners.
Canada’s military and civilian work in Afghanistan has increasingly centred on building local capacity in the province of Kandahar, with additional engagements at the national level to help Afghans rebuild their country as a stable, secure, democratic and self-sufficient society. In doing so, we have established a model for security and stability—building blocks for economic development—that is being applied by our NATO partners in the south and other parts of the country.
Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan is guided by six priorities, which were established to reflect not only the priorities of the Afghan government, but also Canadian strengths. As Canada was assigned responsibility for the province of Kandahar, our priorities naturally assumed a provincial focus, and these quarterly reports have subsequently highlighted our Kandahar-based activities.
But Canada’s work in Kandahar is only part of the story. Indeed, we are doing much at the national level to help Afghans rebuild their society and many of our Kandahar-focused initiatives have national impacts. This particular report, covering the period from October 1 to December 31, 2009, describes some of these national-level activities in order to provide a more complete picture of our ongoing work in Afghanistan.