Eighteen years of alliance operations in Afghanistan were doomed by “mission creep,” as allied nations poured undue effort and resources into helping rebuild the country rather than focus on their core mission of defeating terrorism, says the head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Dec. 1 that NATO went into Afghanistan to prevent terrorists from continuing to use the country as an operations and training base. On that score, it succeeded—at least for now.
But Stoltenberg said it must be recognized that “over the years, the international community set a level of ambition that went well beyond the original aim of fighting terrorism. And, on that, we were not able to deliver.”
U.S.-led forces, including Canadians, entered the countr...