The Long Road: The National Post in Afghanistan
A decade of war in Afghanistan has cost more than 150 Canadian lives and billions of dollars.
It began without a clear idea of the nature of the operation, when Defence Minister Art Eggleton said he would not use the word “war” as he committed troops to Afghanistan in October, 2001. Nor did anyone know how long the task would take although General Ray Henault, the Chief of Defence Staff, pledged, “We do know that we will contribute … as long as it is required.”
At the end of our involvement in this ravaged country, it is critical to go back and examine what Afghanistan quickly became — a war — and what it might yet become. What are the feelings of those involved? Did we achieve goals set during the operation? What does the mission look like as it wraps up? And, most important of all, whether the cost — tallied in so many ways: monetary, in lives, emotion, heartbreak — was worth it all?
They are difficult questions, but necessary ones.
This is the aim of The Long Road: The National Post in Afghanistan.
The project is built around the work and perspectives of two of our most experienced journalists on the ground in Afghanistan, Brian Hutchinson and Richard Johnson; between them, they have been to Afghanistan seven times over a period of years. They returned earlier this spring, embedded with the Canadian forces, to watch and report and illustrate the dying days of the mission.
In 2001, Mr. Eggleton said Canada would be an integral part of the international campaign in Afghanistan. He could not have known the blood and treasure that would be expended.
The Long Road aims to finally put it all in perspective.
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Shaughn WittmanAn omen?
Ryan SheppardIn the line of fire
Gabriel BernardThe girl in the wheelbarrow
David SheaAn explosion of laughter
Sébastien MilletteSnap crackle run
Steve BureauA surgeons tale
Nicholas GuntonTicket home
Katelyn Lora CampagnaDog duty
Bill AkerlyWere not doing enough
Mélina ArchambaultBeauty among the violence
Anthony SewardsProblem solved
Tara SawchukA girl and her teddy bear
Alexis LegrosI could have lost everything
Daniel DignardBullets and bombs