Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan

Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan

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Edited by Jerome Klassen and Greg Albo
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
432 Pages 5 Images
ISBN 9781442613041
Published Jan 2013
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The war in Afghanistan has been a major policy commitment and central undertaking of the Canadian state since 2001: Canada has been a leading force in the war, and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on aid and reconstruction. After a decade of conflict, however, there is considerable debate about the efficacy of the mission, as well as calls to reassess Canada’s role in the conflict. An authoritative and strongly analytical work, Empire’s Ally provides a much-needed critical investigation into one of the most polarizing events of our time.

This collection draws on new primary evidence – including government documents, think tank and NGO reports, international media files, and interviews in Afghanistan – to provide context for Canadian foreign policy, to offer critical perspectives on the war itself, and to link the conflict to broader issues of political economy, international relations, and Canada’s role on the world stage. Spanning academic and public debates, Empire’s Ally opens a new line of argument on why the mission has entered a stage of crisis.

Jerome Klassen is a Research Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies.

Greg Albo is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at York University.


  1. Introduction: Empire, Afghanistan and Canadian Foreign Policy
    Jerome Klassen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Section One: Afghanistan, Empire and the ‘War on Terror’

  1. Afghanistan and Empire
    John W. Warnock (University of Regina)
  2. A ‘Single War’: The Political Economy of Intervention in the Middle East and Central Asia
    Adam Hanieh (University of London)
  3. The Empire of Capital and the Latest Inning of the Great Game
    Michael Skinner (York University)
  4. Methods of Empire: State Building, Development, and War in Afghanistan
    Jerome Klassen

Section Two: The Political Economy of Canadian Foreign Policy

  1. From the Avro Arrow to Afghanistan: The Political Economy of Canadian Militarism
    Paul Kellogg (Athabasca University)
  2. Canada and the Third World: The Political Economy of Intervention
    Todd Gordon (York University)
  3. Fewer Illusions: Canadian Foreign Policy Since 2001
    Greg Albo (York University)

Section Three: Canada’s War in Afghanistan

  1. Failed States and Canada’s 3D Policy in Afghanistan
    Angela Joya (York University)
  2. Building an Expeditionary Force for Democracy Promotion
    Anthony Fenton (York University) and Jon Elmer
  3. Incompatible Objectives: Counterinsurgency and Development in Afghanistan
    Justin Podur (York University)
  4. Canada’s Afghan Detainee Torture Scandal: How Stories of Torture Define the Nation
    Sherene H. Razack (University of Toronto)

Section Four: The Anti-War Movement in Canada

  1. Québec Solidaire and the Anti-War Movement
    Benoit Renaud and Jessica Squires (Library and Archives Canada)
  2. Bringing Ottawa’s Warmakers to Heel: The Anti-War Movement in Canada
    Derrick O’Keefe (Canadian Peace Alliance)

‘A serious advance in state-of-the-art research, Empire’s Ally offers a thorough and multifaceted analysis of Canada’s involvement in the Afghan conflict from the perspective of global imperialism. Making important and controversial arguments that are significant to all Canadians, this collection will be read widely by academics, students, policymakers, and politicians.’

Henry Heller, Department of History, University of Manitoba

More than just an academic text, Empire’s Ally is an accessible and readable resource for scholars and activists alike. For the anti-war movement in Canada, it should be required reading.

James Clark, Canadian Dimension