March 13, 2014
Thank You Canada: The Withdrawal from Afghanistan Begins
It's a bittersweet moment, the lowering of the Canadian flag in Afghanistan. They're leaving after being part of NATO's post-9/11 mission for 12 years. On behalf of those that care, let me say thank you for your sacrifices on our behalf. This war was not yours to fight, but you fought it anyway:
After more than 12 years and under a blanket of security in Kabul, Canadian military operations in Afghanistan came to a formal close this week. As the Canadian flag was lowered at NATO headquarters in a low-key ceremony, officials looked back at a mission that began in 2001 and cost the country 158 military lives.I tend to give Canada and Canadians a lot of crap for no other reason that I can, but when it comes right down to it our two countries are really one nation separated by a border drawn by the former imperial master of us both. You're like the kid brother we tease but we really love. And when the fit hit the shan on 9/11 you were there to help us punish the wrongdoers. Thanks again.
Two Canadian civilian contractors, a diplomat and a journalist also died during Canada's involvement in Afghan operations.
Canadian troops were active in the restive Kandahar province in the south of the country, dubbed the "home of the Taliban," from 2006 and have latterly been involved in training Afghan National Security Forces in the capital, Kabul.
Over 40,000 Canadian troops have been rotated in and out of the country since NATO's ISAF operations began -- the largest deployment since the end of the Second World War. The remaining 100 Canadian military personnel will leave the country by the end of the week.