The Canadian government abandoned a $2.2B Afghanistan aid program it barely understood, audit finds

OTTAWA — Canada walked away from a decade-long $2.2 billion aid program in Afghanistan hoping the U.S. would just carry on with its plan, an internal government audit has found.

Instead, Canada’s vision was left in the dust, officials told auditors looking into the largest aid program in government history, one of the three pillars of the effort to stabilize the war-torn country after the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The massive aid program was supposed to bolster the military’s work in securing the country and diplomatic efforts to shore up its governance, a whole-of-government approach that in some ways should serve as a model for approaching similar conflicts in the future, the evaluation found.

The Conservative government appears to be considering such a model in its approach to the conflict in Iraq as it prepares to debate the extension of the military mission there.