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Afghanistan reader poll. (The Globe and Mail)
Afghanistan reader poll. (The Globe and Mail)

Digital Lab

You voted: Canada should be careful about future combat missions Add to ...

It was 10 years ago this week that Canadian boots touched down in Afghanistan, and many prominent Canadians are divided on just what was achieved.

These considerations come at a time of continuing unrest in countries such as Syria, where the Assad regime continues a violent crackdown that killed at least 17 in the city of Homs today and the United States dramatically withdrew its diplomatic corps. The United Nations is considering a military intervention in the country, as happened last year in Libya.

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So we asked you: Was Canada’s Afghan Mission worth it? And should our military join future combat missions?

More than 700 readers have responded by Monday afternoon. Most have clumped in the “dove” quadrant, saying Canada was wrong to go into Afghanistan and is wrong to join any future combat missions.

Peacekeeping is a common theme among comments in the bottom-right corner.

“Canada should get back to peacekeeping,” said a female respondent from Ontario. “We had built up expertise and a positive international reputation for that. It suits our culture.”

More than two-thirds of readers said Canada shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan, and a slim majority – 52 per cent – say we shouldn’t join future missions either.

One of the neat features of our interactive quadrant poll – designed by The Globe’s Christopher Manza – is the ability to filter the results based on demographic information.

For instance, in all age groups a majority of readers disliked the Afghan Mission. But support skews young – 43 per cent of under-24 respondents supported the war while only 15 per cent of respondents did between the ages of 55 and 64.

Of course, the poll isn’t scientific and you should take the results with a grain of salt. This feature is meant to simply be a snapshot of what some Globe readers think about an issue.

If you haven’t taken the poll yet, show us where you stand. We want to hear from you. Canada’s military could be asked to join a mission again sooner than we think.

Follow on Twitter: @channay

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