December 7th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Canada's role in Afghanistan

Canada is expected to begin withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan in 2011 and it appears that the recent announcement by President Obama to increase the number of U.S. troops there will not change the plan.

The Canadian mission was supposed to end this February, but the Canadian parliament last year extended the mission for another two years.

Lawrence Cannon, the Canadian foreign minister, said that date still stands.

“Our position is clear,” he said on Wednesday, according to a CBC report. “We will respect the [parliamentary motion] to the letter.”

Cannon said the additional U.S. forces and resources will help Canada focus on its priorities in Afghanistan.

“Canada welcomes the additional military and civilian resources the United States will deploy to Afghanistan, particularly the south,” Cannon said in a statement.

“This will allow Canada to further concentrate its efforts on six priorities and three signature projects, including Canada’s vital work to increase the capability of the Afghan National Security forces and place responsibility for security back in the hands of Afghans.”

Canada has been in Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict, contributing thousands of troops and billions in aid.

More than 2,800 Canadian troops are currently in Afghanistan, according to NATO. Most of them are based in the Kandahar province in the southern part of the country, home to some of the worst violence and instability.

At least 133 Canadian troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to a CNN count.

Afghanistan is also the largest recipient of development aid from Canada. According to the government, Canada will have authorized $1.2 billion in aid to Afghanistan from 2002 through 2011.

"Relative to other involvements of Canada around the world, it's an enormous commitment," Alan Henrikson, a professor of diplomatic history at Tufts University, told CNN earlier this year. "It is proportionally larger than the stake the United States has in Afghanistan."

At home, some recent polls suggest Canadians are growing disillusioned of the Afghan war effort.

More than half either oppose or strongly oppose the mission, according to a Harris/Decima poll released on October 22. In the same poll, 41 percent of those surveyed said Canadian troops should be withdrawn before the 2011 date.

During the past year, the Canadian mission has increasingly focused on rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. Its priorities – referenced by the foreign minister’s statement – include providing jobs, education, services and building the capabilities of the Afghan national army and police.

And other efforts, what the Canadian government refers to as “signature projects,” include repairing the Dahla Dam, immunizing an estimated seven million children against polio and building or repairing some 50 schools in Kandahar province.

"We are not ever going to ever defeat the insurgency. Afghanistan has probably had - [based on] my reading of history - an insurgency forever of some kind," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in March.

"We have to have an Afghan government that is capable of managing that insurgency and improving its own governance."

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Your site loaded very slow, you might want to check it out, using google chrome.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |

    I support our Canadian men and women in the military. They have done an admirable job in Afghanistan and fulfilled our commitment. However, it is time to pull out. Mr. Harper keep your promise to the Canadian people and bring 'em home in 2011.
    A very proud Canadian ex-military member, living in the greatest country in the world.

    September 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dr ks khn

    usa,uk,israel & allies inhuman killer,rapist,looter forces invaded,occupied & possessed the weak & poor nations against uno & human laws,shame on they are raping to their moms,sisters,daughters they are inhuman damons on this heavenly earth.we condemn & hate you all brutal heartless killers !

    May 21, 2010 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Norm

    Nice and proper to see that CNN acknowledges that Canada remains an ally of the US in this war that affects all of us, and especially those who have lost family.

    Well done, Canadian Forces!

    If only the Conservative government could find the backbone to stay the course and finish this job and win.

    January 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Beth

    For the longest time, I have felt 100% commitment to Canada's role in Afghanistan, that our efforts there on a humanitarian level could justify the loss of our soldiers. But my commitment was shaken this past week with the death of a friend of my daughter's by an IED while on patrol in Afghanistan. And when I consider that at least two more of her friends will be heading over there shortly and may not return, I have to re-think what we are really accomplishing over there. I will always support our soldiers; they go where nobody else will and do what no one else will. They are true heroes and know the cost of their sacrifice. But, really, 20 years from now, can we realistically expect to see a different Afghanistan that what we've seen for the last 100 years? And is that worth my daughter's friend losing her fiance?

    January 5, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. DJW

    I highly doubt Canadian combat troops will be leaving Afghanistan in 2011; with a looming Conservative majority government expected within the year, the next generation of infantry fighting vehicles (the Swedish made CV9035 Mark III Puma is in the evalution stage), our LAV III fleet slated for thicker armour and the purchase of 100 Leopard tanks, it is reasonable to believe US and Canadian troops will be fighting along side each other into the foreseeable future.

    January 5, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dennis D.

    Do we (CANADA) really need to be aknowledged by U.S. media.
    I say not.
    Our contribution in peacekeeping, world wars has been with honour and sacrifice.
    It is known by those people that count – primarily the US and Canadian military.
    The greatest compliment is from those who serve along side each other.
    U.S. and Canadidian millitary have served along side each other for decades.
    To my knowledge mutual respect and common goals have been the norm.
    We share a continent, natural resources, way of life and are trading partners.
    We are family.
    God bless the USA. God bless Canada.

    January 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |

      Dennis D.
      Agreed! for the most part. Canada however, has a reputation in the world as peacekeepers, America has become a Imperialistic nation. They spend more on their military budget than the REST of the world combined, spends on their military budget. If that is not war-mongering, what is it?

      September 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Keith Rynax

    One quick thought....
    "If you don't stand behind all our Troops...PLEASE! feel free to stand in front of them"

    January 3, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. riri2121 in GA


    December 17, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris in Alberta

    @Canadian Military Hopeful-
    The Patricia's and Australians bedded in and awaited the inevitable battle that would commence on the night of the 23rd. The Australians fended off the Chinese attacks for the full day until they were forced to withdraw on the afternoon of the 24th in order to establish a new defensive line. Once the Aussies had fallen back it was left on the shoulders of the 2PPCLI troops to bear the brunt of the Chinese attacks. The Chinese were obviously no match for the skilled and highly trained Canadian troops attacking non-stop for two days with no success. 2 PPCLI was surrounded and low on ammunition, water, and rations but was able fight off the attackers, at one time even bringing artillery fire down on their own positions.

    The Chinese plans to attack and recapture Seoul had failed due to the well-trained Canadian and Australian infantry soldiers who never gave up although they were heavily outnumbered. As a result, their efforts were recognized with the award of the United States Presidential Unit Citation, which is proudly worn to this day by the warriors of the 2nd Battalion.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Alex

    I am all for helping the Afgan people but we should have done our part along with others in NATO. We should not be putting all the bills or supplying the greatest percentage of troops over the past 10 years! Where is the rest of the world? It is time to bring our troops home and let the Us and other countries step up and take our place for the next 10 years!


    December 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Donna in Ottawa

    To clarify: BBC is the British Broadcasting Channel, and while Canada does have a BBC Canada, this broadcasts mostly British programming. CBC is the station I think the blogger was meaning to refer to.

    I am Canadian, I am proud to be Canadian and I have some family members and quite a few friends in the U.S. I am glad to have the United States of America to the south. I am also glad to have some coverage from an American News Company which- I might point out here – DOES have a WORLD NEWS section. Yes! It does have a World News section, and it has every right to cover or not cover articles on Canada in this area! I would not expect CNN to have a lot of Canadian content, but when it forgets to mention our Military involvement, it is merely not adequately covering the story when it leaves out a major partner in the fight. Especially considering Canada was there from the beginning. It's just ... bad journalism.

    To those who posted: I am really happy to see some valuable information here. I am proud to see fellow Canadians posting, and prouder still to welcome the kind comments from our American Neighbours. To all nationalities, I send my condolances to the soldiers you have lost in this fight. I hope for world peace one day, and hope that until that day comes, we will have the Canadian Peace Keepers fighting for Peace and defending the innocent. And any nationality who is willing to stand beside our troops.

    From The Canadian Government's website on the Canadian Military in Kandahar:
    "Canada is one of 41 countries participating in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-led formation that operates in Afghanistan under the authority of the U.N. The Canadian Forces contribution to ISAF is conducted under Operation ATHENA.

    ISAF was created in 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, and became a NATO mission in August 2003. Its primary objective is to help the Afghan government establish a stable and secure environment that will allow sustainable reconstruction, development, and good governance to take root and flourish.

    Canada’s signature projects: Education, Dahla Dam, Polio eradication."

    Lets think about the work that has been done in Afghanistan, and the work that will be done and honour those who are risking or giving their lives to accomplish a great task.

    I honour you.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Freeman49 @ CSIS

    Jow Blow and Tony are foreignborn canadians on leave from the Taliban. They are currently working for Al Queada as agent provocateur in Canada. Mission is to infiltrate the left wing pinko groups.. That means Greens who were the old Reds.

    December 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Owen

    I see a lot of big words coming from people that never been deployed overseas or seen the Afghanistan people. The US and it's allies are there to help rebuild a government that cant support itself. Once all the allied countries "help" the crippled government back to their feet and defend itself against terrorist attacks then yes we should pull out. But for all of those that are ignorant and safe at home that "think" they know whats best should really put a commitment to what there government and support your troops and finish the fight against terrorism and help defend those that cant help themselves. Once thats done lets all go home.

    December 15, 2009 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Debbie

    Kenneth you're awesome – what a delightful spin you put on the whole "heated" discussion. As a matter of fact I live near the area where you (meaning the US of course-not yourself-you don't sound that old!!) invaded us. We are still upset about that...just joking.

    I watch CNN frequently and of course can't help but notice how we Canadians are not often mentioned. Granted american station-I get the whole thing. Just saying. Anyway, I am not big on War. I can honestly say that I cannot still believe that we are approaching 2010 and still there are parts of the world where people are still killing each other for whichever as I percieve it ridiculous reasons that they believe are justified. Be it race, or beliefs, religion, whatever. I admire the soldiers for all the sacrifices they make. It is after all not them-themselves that started the war. I always said that I could never marry a man that was in the military as I could not imagine being away from him for months-years at a time. That being said. Let us not all argue over who said what, and why, and who had the greatest loss. Unfortunately in war there is rarely a winner. And even if someone is declared winner it is often not without great sacrifice. Let us all just wish for the best and that our brave men and women from all around the world come home safe and sound soon and that the countries that are in the midst of all this turmoil find their way to peace. Not just speaking of Afghanistan, but Iraq, Darfur and all other places in the world where there is so much violence and killing.

    127 Claude Lacroix – Je suis d'accord...bien dit!!

    Proud to be Canadian / French Canadian / North American, etc....

    December 15, 2009 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  16. Bill

    I'm a proud Canadian and I would like to say thanks to our soldiers and to American soldiers. We should all be grateful to these men and women who serve their countries, You go through the posts and I think most people feel the same way. I can respect other people's opinions but when you read garbage like it is am immorral war or our goverment leaders should be put on trial it is enough to make me sick. Soldiers are willing to die to bring peace and a better way of life to people half ways around the world that they don't even know. That is scarifice.

    Curtis the Proud American makes some very good points. Before people speak they should think about the sacrfices our soldiers have made through history to give us the basic freedoms and way of life we all enjoy in Canada and the United States.

    December 14, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Bruce

    John Lockwood is an idiot

    December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bruce

    OH CANADA!!!!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kenneth

    I'm from New York, I had a near perfect view of the WTC North Tower from my Condo. Its a sight I'll never forget.

    But WE AMERICAN'S have to realize that it was NEW YORK CITY that was attacked. Last time I checked, New York was in America. We need to be thankful that Canada is fighting OUR WAR!!

    Yes, Americans contributed to the European war efforts in WWII. But if memory serves me right from High School history, Canada lost as many troops in Europe as we did.

    WWII was NOT Canada's war to fight either. Like America, they could have stayed home, but like America, they bravely declared war on a tyrant.

    It seems Canada has made MAJOR sacrifices for the wars of foreign countries, but have received nothing in return. When was the last time Europe.... heck, when was the last time AMERICA fought a war for Canada?

    We invaded them in 1812.... wouldn't call that much help.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Robert Foerster

    As a Canadian, and even a liberal at that, I support the Afghanistan action. It was obvious this is where the attacks on our closest ally originated (with the Taliban) and at the same time we assisted in removing a mediaeval government.

    While I do not support the invasion of Iraq, I do think our forces should stay in Afghanistan and be beefed up to assist our American friends and other nations.

    Canada and the U.S. have had our differences, and we tend to p*ss each other off now and again, but we're probably the two closest nations on the earth right now (obviously more than just physically speaking). Sure we snarl at each other but if that's as bad as the U.S./Canada relationship gets, well that pretty much sounds like my own family.


    December 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Greg

    I am a Canadian and proud of what our Canadian soldiers have done in Afghanistan, BUT I am not proud of my government's blind support of everything the US wants to do. I do not feel that we should be asked to help clean up after every American-made mess. Helping the US go after Bin Laden with intelligence and special forces is one thing, invading and occupying a country with careless regard for "collateral damage" is something else. When the US makes radical changes to it's foriegn policy in the Middle-East, stops giving terrorists a reason to exist, and stops being the imperial crusader, then,and only then, will I feel obligated to assist our neighbour to the south.

    December 14, 2009 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  22. RichP the Pocono's

    Those of us who matter and have been on the pointy end know just how much Canada and others have contributed. RIght now you don't have a dog in this hunt but if we don't quell the extremists now you may in the future.

    December 14, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  23. Canadian military hopefull.

    An older soldier i met from that division of the ppcli's in the korean war in which they were awarded the presidential award, told me they were ridiculously outnumbered and waited until the enemy was right on top of them, fixed their bayonets and called in artillery on their own position, Canadians, like marines have a history of bravery and courage.. well done, and thanks to both the Canadian soldiers and our American brothers.. The world is a better place because of their sacrifices...

    December 14, 2009 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  24. Curtis

    to unitedsky comment # 109

    It is quite idiotic of you to post such a message using a computer invented by "THE DEVIL" on the internet (ALSO INVENTED BY "THE DEVIL"). If you were to do such a thing in Taliban controlled Afghanistan you would probably be stoned to death...SEEMS THAT YOU RATHER ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH...ONE OF THE MANY RIGHTS WHICH WE ARE TRYING TO BRING TO THE AFGHANI PEOPLE...
    If you truly see the US as "the devil" then why don't you sell your car, house, computer, telephone and all other modern amenities with which we have graced you and move to a cave with your Al-Qaeda buddies...YOU ARE IGNORANT
    Canada and the US are fighting for a very admirable cause in Afganistan. You should think twice before you open your narrow-minded, ill-informed mouth. There is a reason US and Canadian citizens are willing to fight and die for what we believe in. Everyone in the world should be able to enjoy the freedoms with which we are blessed in the US and Canada...freedoms that have cost us countless brothers, sisters, husbands, fathers, sons and daughters...


    December 14, 2009 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  25. kevin

    CNN is a very good news source, one of the most credible in the US....

    I think several US news stations ignored the Canadians, as well as other Nations support in the Middle Eastern conflict

    December 14, 2009 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  26. Renzo C from Canada

    'Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he's outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.

    God Bless every single brave man and woman fighting this insane conflict!

    I do not like wars and I don't think anyone is crazy enough to say that they do.

    Regardless if we pull out or stay in, the sad truth is that evil exists in this world. To voice out one's opinion against injustice is admirable. But to actually do something takes courage. And only those who do can change the world. As freedom loving countries, we should all be united against anyone who threatens and takes innocent lives, and against anyone who promotes human suffering.

    December 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Patriot

    Everyone look at comment number 24. This guy has no idea what he ia talking about. First of all the allogations made statinfg that Osama and the Taliban are not linked are clearly false; if two groups or people share the same ideas and beleifs are going to WORK TOGETHER, come on thats just common sense! Second, in his comment he says "that all foreign forces need to leave and let life take its course," hey buddy we tried that already, do you want to know what happened? ummmmm lets see.... the twin towers were struckand then fell, the pentagon was struck, those two disasters claimed over 3,000 INNOCENT American lives. And that is why we are over there, because these people have to be stopped, if we do not stop them now then theyre is no telling what will happen in the future.

    December 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Brendan Walsh

    I think the US media never reports on Canada's involvement because it will perpetuate the misconception that Canadians are better than Americans. Lucky for our national pride that we are totally oblivious to how immature this makes us look. While it's always nice to be acknowledged in the spirit of fostering teamwork, does anyone care that we are rarely mentioned on the BBC? I bet the soldiers are confident enough in their actions that they don't need validation from anyone, so why can't we follow their lead? Maybe a stroll through a minefield will give us some perspective. Maybe we can just be Canada, not Can-America-please-love-us-ada-oh-please-oh-please-oh-please!!!
    All that said; not mentioning a country during a discussion about the volatile regions where many lives have been lost (yes John King, I'm speaking to you), a shout out is always respectful (to the soldiers, not us sitting comfortably at home).

    December 13, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Paul Sparling

    Thanks for the coverage CNN. I support the efforts in Afganistan and have great respect for our Southern neighbours and hope we stay with the US long enough to have some measure of success in Afganistan.While I agree we don't spend enough enough on our military now and ought to do more internationally, we do have a fabulous military history. For example, our military deaths in wars of the 20th century are nearly twice as high as the United States per capita and even though we didn't go to Vietnam we were continuously envolved in peace keeping operations around the world from the 50's on and may have put out some fires, I know that this is a long time ago but one sterling accomplishment was that Canada spearheaded the sparkling series of victories known as the "Last Hundred Days" in WW1 as the shock troops of the British Expeditionary force. The plan had been to sit back and wait for the Americans to be ready in 1919 but after the surprise sucess of August 8th, 1918 it was decided to press on. It might just be that those victories saved many thousands of American lives.

    December 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  30. canadian Ex-Military


    "Canada do owe humanity a continuous effort to right what is wrong in this world"???

    Side by side in each war with the exception of Viet Nam.

    We live on the same continent, speak the same language, but don't necessarily have the
    same views.

    We stood shoulder to shoulder with the US in most battles.

    We don't owe a continuous effort.

    We try our best to help humanity.

    December 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Chris in Alberta

    December 11th, 2009
    2:53 pm ET

    how DARE CNN constantly focus on it's U.S. audience and not cater to the canadian population in their coverage? i've read this over and over...

    they DARE cuz they are not a canadian news network! go watch BBC.


    Well since we PAY to have American television in our homes and view these American channels, it's nice to see an article on our troops in Afghanistan, thanks for coming out.

    December 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Robert

    I believe Americans all think of Canada as our brother country. I have never met anyone in the US that had anything bad to say about Canada. Canada has always been there to help the US as far as I know.

    However, past efforts and sacrifices are only as good as the results, and Canada is failing to live up to it's responsibility, as a caring and giving country, a democracy, to see this conflict through to it's end.

    Canadians owe the US nothing. Canadians do owe humanity a continuous effort to right what is wrong in this world.

    I love Canada, but I am also disappointed in Canada.

    December 13, 2009 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  33. @Marco

    @ Marco

    It's not the quantity of troops in Afghanistan. Yes there are 2500 Italians in Afghanistan, but are they mainly located in the volatile regions in Afghanistan? No. They aren't

    December 13, 2009 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  34. WB

    I am the proud sister of a Canadian soldier. I just want to thank all the military families (all around the world) who have lost a son, father, brother, sister, daughter or mother or father to this war. They have to live with their loss each and everyday. Please know we will never forget them.

    December 13, 2009 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  35. A Keil

    God Bless Canada! We are and have been brothers in arms before our grandfathers.

    December 13, 2009 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  36. Arthur

    Proud to be an American, and more importantly, a world citizen. The old world order has ended and a new one is being spread out in its stead. Kicking and screaming, mankind is speeding to its adulthood. This new war is the new reality, and we do not have the luxury of keeping to ourselves. The only way our nations can remove ourselves from the worlds entanglements is to be in the middle of it and do our share for a common world community. This world community is learning how to live together on this small planet... it will take time, more wars, other crisis, but in the end our shared desitny remains the same, a peaceful planet which needs protection from rogue or terroristic actions. We're all in it together, let's all do our part. Thank you Canada.

    December 12, 2009 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  37. yang guang (pen name)

    Canada should never be Afghanistan. War is hell, on earth, and man being the predator he is has to kill to make peace. Lester Person won won the noble peace award back in the sixties was a great PM of Canada . Canada has always been a peaceful country.
    Canada is there because of George Bush. Bush basically told our PM Harper to go there. Harper used the excuse that the UN order Canada to be there The PM of Canada has no real foresight Harper is a USA pawn and a yes man. Canada had no real Army at the time, and now has less of a Army . Many of the men who have died for nothing; our militiamen , all very young men, very sad.
    I do no protest Canada giving aid to the Afghanistans,

    Yang Guang

    December 12, 2009 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  38. canadian Ex-Military

    Be thankful that we fight together.

    I served with the CAF for 20 years and most with US forces. We fight for the same causes.

    It's not about budgets, it's not about the count, it's about the freedom our future holds.

    We as soldiers, airmen, seamen chose our right to defend at any cost.

    The media has played an important role in the descisions we make.

    God bless any soldier, airman or seaman who lost their life in battles decided by politicians.

    Respect for those who lost their lives:

    December 12, 2009 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  39. jeffersonzhang

    as a chinese ,i don't understand real motive why Canada contribute so great sacrifice in Afghanistan,just for humaniterialism or peacekeeping?, it is very difficult for me to recognise this value standpoint, put own youth to death in a far country that is not connectin with own nation'intrerest,any way,Canada action is very highly admirable,pray for brave soldiers from mainland China before western festival Christmas.

    December 12, 2009 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  40. Claude Lacroix

    Finalement CNN a un article sur le role joue par le Canada en Afhanistan et ses militaires; il etait temps. Je demeure a quelques kilometres de Valcartier, une base Canadienne qui fourni des militaires pour cette mission, et je crois que le sacrifice paye par nos gars merite encore plus de reconnaissance. La seule question que je me pose est la suivant: A quoi aura servi tant de morts pour un pay qui semble ne meme pas savoir ou il s`en va!

    December 12, 2009 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  41. earl

    duh! Legerme

    Do you know what the statistical meaning of the word rate is? Canada for it's size has suffered the the highest RATE of the most violent lawless part of the country.
    Afghanistan is not governable. it's a snakepit with no end. The men are lying degenerates who would rather fight and squabble than breathe. They'll tell any country they can use, that is, fleece for economic aid, that they will " towards establishing a more democratic society, but it will take time" blah blah blah
    Western countries should have heeded what happened to the Russians, but were blinded by hubris

    God help the Afghani women and children

    December 12, 2009 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  42. marco

    More than 2,500 Italian troops are currently in Afghanistan,

    December 11, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Sean

    To Joyce, yes some Americans know of the Canadian military's sacrafices and deeds. As a US service member I say thank you to all Canadian and NATO troops for your service.

    December 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Keith Templeton

    As an Australian, I fully understand the situation Canada finds itself in. Australia also has troops in Afghanistan and sent troops to both Iraq conflicts. We tend to follow the USA no matter what as a long term committment of thanks following WW2. This has led us into several disasters in the past; Vietnam being the obvious one.
    Meanwhile, like Canada, our troops do a brilliant job against all odds. With our very similar histories and shared deep committment to democracy and application of laws through a British sourced court system, we tend to prefer help and construct, educate and encourage for the people of the country we are fighting in. Bombs, rockets, latest technology drones and the like are OK but Australians and I am sure Canadians, want to use their troops to start the process of lifting Afgans towards the sort of life we at home enjoy.
    And we are deeply puzzled when our help is questioned and rejected, our efforts to educate and build are treated with deep suspicion and often with open hostility.
    Sadly we turn away, returning to our beautiful, fortunate countries and ponder what went wrong.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Roughan

    Also think about this we have 1/10th of the paopulation of the US thats puts us at the equivelant of 22 thousand troops for almost 7 years we have paid our dues!

    December 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Roughan

    All of you need to listen to what your saying, Canada is BY FAR The best ally the U.S. has in the world. People tend to forget how much Canadian resources help sustain lives of Americans, we are by far the most stable source of oil for americans in the world, Water will be the next thing we will be supporting you with guaranteed! A population of 30 million who has the same beliefs and culture that you do should be respected. Our brothers and sisters live across borders and obviously terrorist acts never happen between us. We are the friend that gets taken advantage of to much and we deserve your respect

    December 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  47. James Harding

    I am a proud Canadian from a family with a military background. My brother and step-mother have both served tours and my father has set foot there as part of initial planning in 2002.

    I am a Patriot and a true believer in the virtues and benefits of democracy however I also believe that the goals which have been set will be ultimately met with failure.

    In essence NATO's position in Afghanistan is a catch-22. Following 9/11 it would be unreasonable not to respond as the USA led coalition did- that is with an invasion of Afghanistan and the ousting of the Taliban. After all did the Taliban not facilitate Al- Qaeda's needs and provide them with sanctuary? A base from which they could mount their attacks? However in doing so we in the West have ultimately put ourselves in an awkward position.

    The reason is primarily that Afghanistan is a nation which is completely unconducive to the installment of democracy. For a minute, forget the Taliban, disregard their crimes, and look further into the past and bear with me...

    Afghanistan is a colonial invention... There is zero indigenous constituency from which to form a basis of civil society. 'Afghans' do not consider themselves as such. There is no Afghan nationalist force. Rather those living within the borders of Afghanistan, are Pashto, Tajiik, Hazara, Uzbek, etc... Those who believe in the Afghanistan which we percieve it to be are either westernized, ex-pats, disapora, power brokers or all of the above, they are certainly not representative of the majority.

    Further, by continuing in our military presence, however humanitarian we try to be, we persist in the image of an invader, conqueror, or otherwise foreign force of arms. This entity, the 'Afghan' has fought not only for generations, but centuries.

    I could continue, but I'm not writing a book. I suppose the key decision is not whether or not we can stay long enough to instill democracy, for it will never be internalized by the average Afghan. rather, the question is how best to conpromise with those who say "Let's fight for another 10 years" as easily as we say "Let's go down to the pub for a pint" because if we don't we'll be throwing away everything which we have gained in the last 8 years (which in itself is not insignificant)

    Support the troops

    December 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  48. hossein

    I am canadian slaves Iranian Canadian, this people do not have human right here in Canada and can not help own homeless, they just bring problems to the poor Afghani

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Nancy

    Proud to be Canadian. Thank you for all your efforts & support!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  50. pam sweeney

    how DARE CNN constantly focus on it's U.S. audience and not cater to the canadian population in their coverage? i've read this over and over...

    they DARE cuz they are not a canadian news network! go watch BBC.


    December 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  51. thomas Horan

    Although obvious it seems to be necessary to remind people why we are in Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Queda attacked the US. This is part of a declared war that radical Islam has made against secular western countries which includes Canada. The motive is our self protection and preservation of our freedoms. That the US erred in Attacking Iraq has nothing to do with the Afghanistan war. credit to our government then and now in being capable of seeing the difference and to responding appropriately even if inadequately. We need more troops and more spending in Afghanistan.

    December 11, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Keith

    We're a bunch of monkeys that don't know anyway else to solve our problems, but i am grateful to have Canada as an ally.

    December 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Andrew

    @Joe Public:

    In case you forgot, America was attacked on 9/11 and that's why we're at war in Afghanistan. I'm assuming you also forgot that if it weren't for the United States, Europe would be under Nazi control to this day and the Japanese Empire would span most of Asia. While I agree the Iraq war was unnecessary, we have to be responsible and finish what we started.

    Yes, Canada has been a good neighbor and ally, but you Canadians should realize it's hard for us Americans to focus on much but our own losses. After the 30,000 troop surge is completed, we'll have over 200,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We've spent $904 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $939 billion on two stimulus bills aimed at repairing the damage of the global recession we're in. We've lost over 5,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to only a few hundred for every other coalition nation.

    So I'm sorry if the American public and media aren't too focused on your contributions, but we have quite a few problems over here.

    December 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  54. don

    Must agree with Jeff – It's about time China,
    Russia,France and Germany step up. They all want to play a part in G20,UN and world affairs
    but never offer to quell problems that are world
    wide. If it is in their country they usually have an answer. It's about time they get a global perspective. The US must allow them an opportunity to get involed and help solve Afganistan, Iran and North Korea. The latter two
    are just as big a problem.

    December 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  55. soonerthebetter

    109, Canada and the US will eventually take your pals way or the other, count on it.

    December 11, 2009 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  56. Emi.. Montreal,Canada

    Being a proud Canadian i'm very happy that we have both Canadian and Amercian men and women protecting us... but at some point we must realize that eventually we must leave the war behind and let the Afghan goverment handle it on their own.. this war like any other war has no winners or losers... so like us Canadians, i hope the American goverment also pulls their troops out soon and let them be with their loved ones instead...

    December 11, 2009 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  57. Mark Strutton

    In response to number 7. First let me say that among the troops that have served in country together no matter what nationallity we all respect and appreciate each other. For the ones who sit at home and enjoy the freedom that both US and Canadien troops provide I would say keep you mouth shut and enjoy your freedom. You call the war immoral and that we want revenge. Of course we wanted revenge and we got and now we are rebuilding a country we help from many diff countries. No troops not Canadien nor Us troops need the news to give us thanks for what we do. We get first hand look at the faces of the Men and Children over there that are grateful for what we provide and it is thanks enough. If the media is the source of your information than i would say you truly do not have an opinion or idea on what is really happening. As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan I love every soldier that has been there no matter what country. So as i read through these all I hear is complaining. Stop! Instead take your time to shake a soldiers hand and welcome him home and enjoy the freedom that you have entitled to you by what other men do.

    December 11, 2009 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  58. unitedsky

    Canada is helping the devil doing sin in Afghanistan.You will pay for this tomorrow.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  59. Mike Quinn

    Foreign troops will always be considered occupiers by the local population in third world countries. The only justification for sending in the cavalry would be to prevent genocide such as in Rwanda or Cambodia. Unfortunately the world has no real mechanism to deal with these human disasters. The US has a long history of getting into conflicts for the most questionable of reasons. We didn't follow them into Vietnam and we should have followed the same policy in Afghanistan.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  60. marcel






    December 11, 2009 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |

    Glenn is wrong. A good lot of Canadians wish the Grand Canyon stretched all along the border between us and our southern neighbours. Can't get any worse.The ills come from south as a bad wind. We are always stuffed up and cannot think or decide for ourselves. Just as in Iraq where NOTHING has been achieved because everything is still happening, the same will be the case in Afganistan. It is just questime of time. Domestically and Internationally we do no other than what they want from south.

    December 11, 2009 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  62. Archibald

    At the start it was a good intention and all the efforts and endeavours were genuine because there were too many expectations that these so called people could do better if not democratized. That was wishful thinking. We in the West always fail to understand the reality in these basket nations and expect too much. Now as one can see it is a failure. Better take our people home and leave them to themselves till they decide to improve their own way of thinking. If they don't do any better let them fight it out and deal with the winner, or course with nukes ready. If one listens to Obama nothing will be done.

    December 11, 2009 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  63. Glenn

    While I think this war needs to come to an end, now is not the time. Afghanistan is a long way away from becoming a safe place for it citizens to live. With the help of more Americans there I believe this can be achieved. Canada welcomes and appreciates the help the Americans are going to provide. Thank you USA! We Canadians are very fortunate to have you as our neighbors and friends. God bless those brave souls who lost their lives defending our countries and the freedom we love.

    December 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Wally

    Lets face it America is our neighbor and our Ally. It is my belief that the former American administration brought economic pressure to bear on the Canadian gov't in order to have Canadians join in the fighting. The price of GM staying in Canada? Canadian boots on ground in Afghanistan. Its not pretty but it is reality Canadians are lucky to have the benevolent giant as a neighbor. Try living next door to Russia or China. America tends to overlook the contributions of Canada, but that is a small price to pay for the benefits Canada gets out of the relationship. Grow up Canada, stand on your own two feet and stop whining about how you are ignored by America. Our history is something to be proud of and we don't need to be validated by the US.

    December 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Paul Willson

    In Canada support for keeping our troops at the sharp end of ops in Afghanistan is weak. We went in in after 2001 we have taken many casualties , including many dead.
    Our military is not bottonless our army's units have done back to back tours .The RCN has had ships in the mid east-sw asia area sinnce 2001. The Canadian parliment has voted an exit date of July 2010. Any extension would cause a political upheaval . Also support for an task that is now last a 1/3rd as long as we were staioning people on Cyprus is just not there . It has cost marriages

    December 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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