A workshop featuring leading legal scholars and policy specialists on international humanitarian law, private military companies and international human rights law.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan and Canada's contribution to that mission remain a major focus of attention and resources of the Canadian security and defence community. Yet, Canada's defence and security interests are not limited to the Afghanistan conflict. This year's conference of Security and Defence Forum centres looks beyond Afghanistan at the other Canadian security and defence priorities and challenges, both in light of, and in spite of, the Afghan commitment.
Beyond Afghanistan, what regional and domestic interests, threats and challenges demand our attention? What impact is the Afghanistan conflict likely to have on them? What are the force requirements to adequately address them? And will the force structure the CF inherits from the Afghan mission be suited to future operations in these areas and the other threats Canada faces? Four panels of SDF Centre scholars and outside specialists address these and other questions.
The military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan were never intended to become permanent occupations. The objective has always been to "fix" those countries – to create functional, stable, ideally liberal-democratic states – and then leave. Yet, the difficulty of achieving that objective has become increasingly clear; violence and instability continue apace with few signs of progress, foreign military commitments remain unchanged or are increasing, and in intervening states public discontent with the missions is growing. This reality has led to a nascent debate in Canada and the United States over "exit strategies" – namely, how (and whether) intervening powers should extricate their military forces from these conflicts.
This one-day conference brings together leading academic and policy experts on state-building, military strategy, and international interventions to discuss and debate Exit Strategies: Iraq, Afghanistan and Beyond. Each session will focus on one of three critical aspects of the exit strategy debate: the nature and requirements of modern state-building; the tactical and strategic challenges of military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan; and the role and responsibilities of external actors and institutions, such as the UN, NATO and American and Canadian allies, in exit strategies.