Smoke rises in Kandahar after fighting on Thursday between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel. The Taliban say they've taken control of the city. (Sidiqullah Khan/AP)

Canada could save 10,000 Afghans from the Taliban. Or more.

Scott Gilmore: A mass rescue on that scale has been done before, and we owe it to those who believed and trusted us to do it again

As Kandahar finds peace, Canada finds its own kind of vindication

Adnan R. Khan returns to Afghanistan’s formerly fraught southern region, where lessons from Canada’s failed mission more than a decade ago are inspiring America’s next steps


What good did we do?

The National Post obtains an audit of Canadian foreign aid in Afghanistan that does not entirely flatter this country’s efforts.


Another year’s federal politics in 12 chapters

Stages in the legislative process that make a bill law in the Canadian Parliament; ministers (not including the Prime Minister) on cabinet’s powerful Priorities and Planning committee; former political figures (not including sovereigns or social activists) memorialized in bronze around Parliament Hill—twelve is the number in each of these interesting categories. But for our purposes here, in this second annual stocktaking of the year just ending, it’s the 12 calendar months that matter. Pick just one political story for each page, and 2011’s kaleidoscope might just take a turn from jumbled to intelligible.

A series of fortunate events

A series of fortunate events on 9/11

From 2011: Without 9/11, Jody Mitic wouldn’t have lost his legs in a blast, met the love of his life and had his daughter

Leaving hope behind in Kandahar

Leaving hope behind in Kandahar

In the embattled region, a legacy of respect, but no peace

The Commons: Two words to say so much

Would a Taliban prisoner by any other name seem just as evil?


The early reviews

The Canadian Press reviews some of what was disclosed in yesterday’s document release.


Afghanistan: Progress reports, in more than name

We have paid fairly constant attention to the quarterly Afghanistan progress reports the federal government has submitted since special advisor John Manley recommended greater transparency (along with other things) in 2008. The tale has been pretty consistent, and bleak: progress against limited, quantifiable goals on specific projects, in a general context of worsening violence and despair. It wouldn’t have been too unfair to summarize most of these reports as, “Construction continues on schedule, but the locals who haven’t died yet are terrified that they’ll be next.”

Covering Afghanistan: logistics and ethics

Michael Petrou on reporting from Kandahar


Mission accomplished?

The governor of Kandahar questions Stephen Harper’s contention that “Afghanistan is no longer a threat to the world.”

Standing firm

Standing firm in Afghanistan

In spite of the impending pullout, Canadian troops remain committed to their mission