"Canadian Troops in Afghanistan: Taking a Hard Look at a Hard Mission"
So, I've decided to go through it. It kinda starts off a little badly actually:
Afghans have been both battered by foreign occupiers and
tyrannized by extreme elements of their own countrymen for as long as its
citizens can remember. The Russians bludgeoned Afghanistan in the ‘80s. The
Americans helped drive the Russians out in 1989 and then largely abandoned
the Afghans in the ‘90s. The Taliban moved into the void and ruled with
merciless fervor until overpowered by the Americans and their Northern
Alliance allies in 2001.
See, yeah, the Russians bludgeoned Afganistan, true. But the Report neglects to mention that it was with the very same forces (the Mujahideen) that later became al-Qaeda and then the Taliban that the US drove the Russians out. The Report skips over the immediate post-Soviet chaos that ensued when various warlords battled with each other for control of the country, apparently making it more of a hell-hole of rape and murder than it was during the war with the Russians. It was the Taliban that managed to win any degree of widespread support, due to their religious aversion to the corruption of the warlords, and who were able to defeat the warlords and bring a degree of stability to the country.
The warlords became known as the "Northern Alliance" as they were confined to a northern corner of the country by the Taliban. The Taliban itself had received assistance from the United States, in the same way Mujahdeen like Osama bin Laden did, through Pakistan's intelligence agency. This was because, despite their anti-American, anti-Israel alignment, in the here-and-now, they were useful to destabilize the Soviet Union, and then Russian influence in Central Asia.
If anything, Afghanistan has been torn apart by competing sides both backed by the United States at one time or another. The admittedly hideous tranquility of the Taliban has now been replaced by the hideous chaos and rape of the Karzai regime and its Northern Alliance criminal supporters. This followed the atrocious bombing campaign of 2001 in which thousands were killed directly from bombs, while tens of thousands more died from exposure and starvation.
So, the Report starts out subtly introducing a white hat to the forces of the West. One that is completely undeserved.