Creating a Failed State: The US and Canada in Afghanistan.


224 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 978-1-55266-262-5
DDC 958.104'6




Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein is a history professor at York University and author of
War and Peacekeeping and For Better or For Worse.


John Warnock, late of the University of Regina, was one of the first on the Canadian left to posit a unified theory of Canadian foreign policy. His Partner to Behemoth, published in 1970, had major impact in the universities and on the left almost four decades ago. Now, his 1970 views unchanged and, indeed, reinforced, Warnock has turned his attention to Afghanistan, and his latest book looks at American and, secondarily, Canadian policy in that “failed state.” In fact, most of the volume looks at the American role, only one chapter focusing directly on Canada, and this quite cursorily. There are chapters of potted Afghan history, of the efforts for women’s rights there, and full-throated critical examinations of U.S. military tactics and strategy, of U.S. imperialism, and of the Bush government’s War on Terror. No one will claim much success for Bush’s policies; few would find so little positive in them, however, as Warnock. This is a book only for those who agree with the author, in other words.


Warnock, John W., “Creating a Failed State: The US and Canada in Afghanistan.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 25, 2024,