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Afghanistan | Gulf War | Roll of Honour

After 9/11 and the identification of terrorist forces in Afghanistan, the United States quickly decided that either the Taliban government in Afghanistan would have to turn those terrorist over to the United States or face military action. There was a huge amount of sympathy and support for the US in the period following the attacks and Prime Minister jean Chretien made the decision that not only would Canada support the US in their actions in Afghanistan, but that Canadian forces would join a growing international coalition of forces that would be involved in military action.

Canadian forces serving with and in US units were authorized to participate in US actions preparing for an invasion of Afghanistan. The objectives of Canadian participation were to defend Canada's national interests, to support Canada's leadership role in world affairs, and to help Afghanistan rebuild after the upcoming military action.

On October 7th, Chretien announced operation Apollo which would be the Canadian commitment of Canadian forces until October 2003. Initially 40 JFF2 members (special anti-terrorist personnel) were dispatched in December of 2001 to help topple the Taliban government. By January of 2002 the PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) members began to engage in combat in Afghanistan and in April 2002 the first Canadian military casualty occurred as a result of friendly fire.

In August of 2003 Canada became the commanding nation of the coalition forces or International Security Assistance Force, and the 1,900 member task force began to try and help rebuild the country. Troop strength in Afghanistan has gradually increased and by 2005 the Canadian forces were reassigned to Kandahar Province which was a hotspot of renewed Taliban and terrorist activity. Due to the war in Iraq, Afghanistan was given a secondary priority by the US government which has allowed the initial quick and easy victory to slide back into a war of guerrilla attrition and it has only been in the past few years that Afghanistan has begun to receive the support required, that the issues and problems are being addressed and potentially solved.

152 Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan as of August 30th, 2010.

Roll of Honour for those who have given their lives

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