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CIC Victoria: Politics-In-The-Pub – Triumph of the Taliban? The unfolding disaster in Afghanistan
October 4, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
CIC Victoria members will receive detailed registration information for this event, two weeks prior.
In April 2021, President Joe Biden announced that by 11 September 2021 – 20 years to the day after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA – the United States planned to have withdrawn all of its troops from Afghanistan. In particular, he rejected the long-standing advice of his military that a full withdrawal should be “conditions based,” that is, depending on the strength of the Afghan National Army and the behavior of the Taliban. Instead, he returned to the conclusion he had reached a dozen years earlier when he visited Afghanistan, prior to being sworn in as vice president: “More and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government.”
The U.S.-Afghan War is the longest war that America has ever fought. It lasted through two George W. Bush administrations, two Barack Obama administrations, and the Donald Trump administration. The war in Afghanistan was also Canada’s longest war (2001-2014) and our first significant combat engagement since the Korean War (1950–53). More than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces personnel served in the 12-year campaign. In total, 165 Canadians were killed — 158 soldiers and 7 civilians and more than 2,000 soldiers were wounded or injured.
In this talk, Corey Levine and Colonel (retired Jamie Hammond) will look back at Canada’s role in Afghanistan and provide their thoughts on what next for the people of Afghanistan.
Corey Levine is a human rights and peacebuilding policy expert, researcher and writer. She has worked in conflict areas for more than twenty years, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, East Timor, Iraq, Kosovo, Mali, Palestine, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka with non-governmental, as well as bilateral and multilateral organizations, including the EU, UNHCR, UNICEF, OSCE, CIDA, Amnesty International and CARE International. She has also written for the Ottawa Citizen, Embassy Magazine, This Magazine and Huffington Post Canada. From November 2020 – June 2021, Corey was deployed in Kabul with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women.
Colonel (retired) Jamie Hammond commanded Canada’s special operations forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and later founded the Canadian Special Operations Regiment before returning to Afghanistan for another year in 2010-2011 as Chief of the Transition and Campaign Assessment Group in ISAF Joint Command. During his career he also served in Bosnia, Brunei, Germany, the UK and Hong Kong and on issues ranging from counter-terrorism to arms control and NATO policy in both DND and PCO. After retiring from the military, he served as Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and as an Assistant Deputy Minister in the B.C. government. He currently teaches international trade to graduate students at Royal Roads University and is completing a PhD in political science at the University of Victoria. A graduate of the US Army War College, he is an officer in the Order of Military Merit and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.