This collection of essays explores how fighting in the rugged, hostile lands of Afghanistan is no easy task.
Afghanistan has long been considered the graveyard of empires. Throughout their history, Afghans have endured the ravages of foreign invaders, from marauding hordes and imperial armies to global superpowers, while demonstrating a fierce independence and strong resistance to outside occupiers. Those who have ventured into Afghanistan with notions of controlling its people have soon discovered that fighting in that rugged, hostile land is no easy task. Afghans have proven to be tenacious and unrelenting foes.
No Easy Task examines this legacy of conflict, particularly from a Canadian perspective. What emerges is the difficulty faced by foreign forces attempting to impose their will over Afghans who, for their part, have consistently adapted tactics and strategies to stymie and defeat those they perceive as invaders and interlopers. It is within this complexity and challenge that the difficult counter-insurgency must be fought.
Dr. Emily Spencer is the director of research and education at the CANSOFCOM Professional Development Centre and a research associate with the Canadian Forces Leadership institute. She is the author of Solving the People Puzzle and the editor of The Difficult War. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.