Canada’s final remaining training troops in Afghanistan will soon return home. The official lowering of the flag ceremony took place on March 11, signaling an end to over 12 years of commitment from the country.
On October 8, 2001—just one day after the United States began operations in Afghanistan—Canada announced the contributions of sea, land, and air forces to help fight terrorism in Afghanistan.
Since joining the fight, Canada has lost 162 men and women (158 of them soldiers), making it the country with the third-highest casualty rate in Afghanistan.
At a recent gathering of the final 100 soldiers, part of a three-year training mission, Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons shared these words of support:
We can wish that the families of the fallen do not lament their fate, but we know that this is not the case. The only small comfort comes from the knowledge that the sacrifices of lost loved ones has been worthwhile, that they made a difference, and that their grief is shared by a grateful nation. It is said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. Your actions and those of your fallen colleagues have stopped the triumph of evil.
Many see Canada’s contribution to the training mission of the past three years as invaluable for the preparation of the Afghan army. The last Canadian commander, Major General Dean Milner, also stressed that the progress seen in recent years is not irreversible, and it is of great importance for the West to continue to help the military of Afghanistan in hopes of reducing any relapse the country may see.
The loss of blood and treasure that Canada has sacrificed over the past 12 years will not go unnoticed. America thanks our friends to the north for their partnership in this fight.
Richard Moxley is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.