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Seminar: NATO, Afghanistan and Canada's alliances

Publication date: May 24, 2013 12:54:53 PM

Start: Jun 17, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Jun 17, 2013 7:15:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN


'NATO is a corpse decomposing': on Afghanistan and Canada's alliances

This talk examines the evolution of Canadian alliance relationships with NATO and with the United States during the Canadian Forces' deployment to Kandahar (southern Afghanistan) in 2005-2011. It argues that while Canada's membership in NATO is safe, the main legacy of the Kandahar deployment is the perceived breakdown of allied solidarity, fed by the failure to share risks and burdens in Afghanistan in an equitable way. This in turn results in widespread scepticism as to the utility and capabilites of NATO. However, even as NATO's stock goes down among Canadian elites, the stock of selected allies goes up. Among those allies, the pre-eminent position is held by the United States: the readiness to put troops in combat situations and to reinforce Canadian soldiers in Kandahar rendered the U.S. one of the very few allies seen as reliable by Canadian elites.

Karolina MacLachlan is a PhD candidate at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. She specialises in transatlantic relations, NATO affairs, and Canadian foreign and security policy, and is about to submit her thesis on the consequences of the interventions in Afghanistan (2001-2011) for Canadian attitudes to alliances. Karolina graduated from the University of Warsaw, where she received a double MA in International Relations and American Studies; she also had the pleasure of spending six months as a Visiting Graduate Researcher at the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. 

Refreshments will be served from 5.30 pm. Attendance is free of charge but registration is recommended.