Coalition forces: Canada

Coalition forces: Canada

Government sources

Canadian Forces Operations, Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan, Government of Canada.

Report to Parliament: Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan: Measuring Progress,  Government of Canada, February 2007.

Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan, Government of Canada.

Backgrounder, National Defence and Canadian Forces.

The Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan, Government of Canada.

Parliamentary sources

Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, Report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, House of Commons, Canada, 39th Parliament, 1st Session, June 2007.

Useful report on policy, mission, force structure and detainee policy. Note Dissenting Opinions of the Bloc Quebecois and the New Democratic Party.

Canadian Troops in Afghanistan: Taking a Hard Look at a Hard Mission, An Interim Report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, February 2007.

Canadian forces in Afghanistan

Joint Task Force Afghanistan, National Defence and the Canadian Forces

Joint Task Force Afghanistan comprises all Canadian Forces assets deployed in southwest Asia on Operation ACCIUS, Operation ARCHER and Operation ATHENA. Its established strength is 2,830 personnel, of whom all but about 15 are deployed on Operation ATHENA.

Operation ATHENA, National Defence and the Canadian Forces

In 2008, the work of Operation ATHENA is conducted by the following components of Joint Task Force Afghanistan (2,700 personnel deployed in Kandahar Province and Kabul ):

  • the Canadian contingent in ISAF Headquarters in Kabul,
  • the Canadian contingent in ISAF Regional Command (South) Headquarters at Kandahar Airfield,
  • Joint Task Force Afghanistan Headquarters, operating as Task Force Kandahar Headquarters in the ISAF chain of command,
  • Task Force Kandahar, operating as part of ISAF Regional Command (South).

Operation ARCHER, National Defence and the Canadian Forces

12 senior CF members in Kabul with the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A), a U.S.-led multinational organization that provides mentors and trainers to help Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior organize, train, equip, employ and support the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.

Operation ACCIUS, National Defence and the Canadian Forces


Camp Mirage

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 25° 1′ 37N, 55° 22′ 15E.

See: Al Minhad Air Base

Camp Mirage, Wikipedia

Camp Mirage is a Canadian Forces forward logistics base located near Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It was established in the fall of 2001, to support Canadian personnel deployed to the Gulf region. The exact location of Camp Mirage and the nature of its mission(s) is classified by the Canadian Forces.”

Canada Will Vacate UAE Base: MacKay, Josh Pringle, CFRA, October 11, 2010

Canada is being evicted from its semi-secret military base in the United Arab Emirates. Defence Minister Peter MacKay confirms Canada has been forced to vacate the base following the apparent failure of negotiations to expand aviation links between the UAE and Canada. The UAE had been seeking more landing rights in Canada for its national carriers. MacKay told reporters there have been discussions between the two countries, adding “at this point we will abide by the wishes of the Emirates, and … we will be leaving the base.” The UAE base was to play a central role in the planned withdrawal of troops from Kandahar following the July 2011 end to the combat mission. The United Arab Emirates denied Mackay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk landing rights as they were flying home from a three-day visit in Afghanistan. A military source told The Canadian Press that the Gulf Nation closed its airspace to the Canadian plane, and it had to detour.

The worst-kept secret in the Persian Gulf, Paul Koring and Borzou Daragahi, Globe and Mail, 21 May  2005.

“Camp Mirage is on Minhad Air Force Base in the desert south of the glittering port city of Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.”

Camp Julien

Location: Afghanistan, Kabul. Closed November 2005.

Camp Julien, Military Facilities, Afghanistan,

“NATO received command of Camp Julien on 29 November 2005. Located in the ruins of what was once an Afghan royal garden, Camp Julien was built by Canadian engineers in the spring of 2003. Among ISAF troops, Camp Julien is generally considered the most troop-friendly facility in Afghanistan.”

Camp Nathan Smith

PRT-Kandahar base.

Camp Nathan Smith, Wikipedia.

Camp Warehouse

Location: Afghanistan, Kabul, 69°18’14” E, 34°32’32” N.

Camp Warehouse, CBC News Online, 18 February 2004.

Camp Warehouse, Wikipedia.

“Camp Warehouse is the operations centre for the multinational International Security Assistance Force located 10 kilometers east of Kabul.”

Kandahar Air Field

Kandahar Air Field, Australian Bases Abroad.


Canadian SIGINT and Afghanistan, Australia in Afghanistan

Analysis and commentary

Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan, Wikipedia

Harper-Karzai rift reveals PM’s deep doubts about Afghanistan, Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail, 7 April 2010

For almost two years, Mr. Harper has harboured deep doubts about the Afghan mission. He worries that extending it would mean throwing good money after bad, and, more importantly, lives with it. After years in which progress has been elusive, he doubts the impact Canada can have. Mr. Karzai’s recent erratic behaviour has contributed to those doubts, but only partly. Inside the Prime Minister’s Office, the Afghan President has long been viewed as a leader who suffers mood swings and changes positions dramatically from one week to the next. It was only the possibility of damage to Canada’s reputation as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally that might have changed Mr. Harper’s mind about extending the military mission beyond next year, one source said. Indeed, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband appealed to Canada’s sense of responsibility to its allies last week when they publicly asked Mr. Harper to keep Canadian troops in Afghanistan past next July’s withdrawal deadline. But with the Dutch now planning to withdraw and others expressing doubts, Canada can hardly be singled out for its exit strategy. Mr. Karzai’s outbursts, blaming Westerners for election fraud and threatening to switch sides, will do nothing to change the minds of those who have decided to quit Afghanistan.

Canada withdrawal from Afghanistan, The World, 2 December 2009

When President Obama unveiled his new strategy for Afghanistan last night, Canadians were listening closely. They were waiting to hear exactly when the White House planned to begin its drawdown of American troops. And that’s because Canada has vowed to pull its soldiers out of Afghanistan by 2011. Today, Canadian officials stood by that pledge.

Canada – Afghanistan War order of battle, Wikipedia

Excellent updated listing of units and organisation.

CANinKandahar, Milnews – Military News for Canadians.

Monitoring Peace Operations in Afghanistan, Peace Operations Monitor.

“A project of the Peace Operations Working Group (POWG), a working group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee (CPCC). The Peace Operations Monitor is a web-based resource providing up-to-date factual information on complex peace operations.”

Canada’s mission in Afghanistan,

Detailed regularly updated site from major newspaper, including “The political debate”, “The mission”, “allegations of prisoner abuse”, and “The soldier’s life”.

Canada’s role in the invasion of Afghanistan, Wikipedia.

Canada: Uruzgan Weblog

Excellent compilation in English and Dutch; updating suspended as of mid-2007, but remains a useful resource.

As the caskets leave Kandahar, Chris Brown, Kandahar Dispatches,, 13 April 2007.

Canada in Afghanistan: Is it Working?, Gordon Smith, Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, March 2007.

Canadians debate Afghan pullout, Owen Clegg, BBC News, 13 February 2007.

“A Canadian Senate committee says the government should consider withdrawing from Afghanistan unless its Nato allies provide additional troops there.”

Afghanistan: Wrong Mission for Canada, Michael Byers, The Tyee, 6 October 2006.

“Have we reached our national tipping point with regard to the counter-insurgency mission in Afghanistan? Having done my best to assess the arguments for and against, the conclusion, to me, is obvious.”

Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan. Canada´s Leadership to Break the Cycle of Violence in Southern Afghanistan, Senlis Council, October 2006

“The current crisis cannot be resolved through military means alone. Canada should focus on a new approach in Kandahar based on immediate food and medical aid, the establishment of emergency local Jirgas to establish political structure in Afghan communities, and the introduction of a science-based search for alternatives to the dominant illegal opium industry that currently holds Afghanistan in its grip. With a new strategic approach to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, Canada will be able to bring about a winning strategy, one that can truly be effective in both its military objectives and in its development and reconstruction agenda.”

Canada in Kandahar: No Peace to Keep – A Case Study of the Military Coalitions in Southern Afghanistan, Senlis Council, June 2006

“Canada and the international community continue to unquestioningly accept America’s fundamentally flawed policy approach in southern Afghanistan, thereby jeopardising the success of military operations in the region and the stabilisation, reconstruction and development mission objectives.”

Afghanistan: From good intentions to sustainable solutions, Ernie Regehr, Project Ploughshares, August 2006

“A thorough re-evaluation of Canada’s role and objectives in Afghanistan is long overdue. Canada certainly took on a special responsibility to Afghanistan when our Government joined the ill-advised war to overthrow Afghanistan’s Taliban government, but that doesn’t mean persisting in a military effort that is not working. To be in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan means being unrelenting in the search for ways to effectively support their security and viability as a stable country that respects human rights. While Canada has made major non-military commitments to Afghanistan, the primary commitment has been through the Armed Forces and questions about the impact and effectiveness of that effort now warrant a thoroughgoing public examination.”

Canadian cooperation with Australia in Afghanistan

Canada and Australia: building on the ties that bind us, Gordon J. O’Connor, Minister of National Defence, Canada, Lowy Institute, 8 September 2006.

See also:

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research: Ronald Li
Updated: 8 April 2010