Feds confirm Canadian troops will stay in Afghanistan until 2014

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Royal 22nd Regiment soldiers line up in a drill hall as they leave for Afghanistan, Monday. — Photo by The Canadian Press

Ottawa — Canada will keep up to 950 soldiers and support staff in Afghanistan on a training mission after the current combat role ends in July, the government announced today.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the “non-combat” troops will also provide humanitarian aid. They will be stationed in the Kabul area and will stay until 2014.

The precise makeup of the Canadian contingent will be decided after consultation with NATO allies.

“After 2011, our efforts will be centred in Kabul,” Cannon said. “We shall dedicate ourselves to development, diplomacy, and a non-combat role in training members of the Afghan National Security Forces.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Canadian troops will not go out on missions with their trainees. He said the new mission will cost the military up to $500 million a year.

The government will spend another $300 million over three years on over going on development and aid.

The government says the mission extension does not require formal parliamentary approval, but the NDP is making a concerted push for a parliamentary vote.

On Monday, NDP Leader Jack Layton accused the Conservative government and Liberal Opposition of conspiring to keep military trainers in Afghanistan without Parliament’s approval.

Meanwhile, the Liberals continued to press for firm details of the plan.

The prime minister’s chief spokesman said Monday that the decision to extend training to 2014 brings Canada in line with the new target date set out by the United States and other allies to begin turning security responsibilities over to Afghans.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said combat operations and training are crucial to reaching the goal of drawing down western military forces in Afghanistan by 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said he wants his country’s security forces to be able to take the lead in protecting their citizens by 2014.

In South Korea last week, Harper confirmed he reluctantly decided that Canada would keep military trainers in Afghanistan three years beyond 2011.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has said his party supports a military training mission for Canada post-2011 but wants Prime Minister Stephen Harper to provide further details.

Liberal insiders say the party has not ruled out using its opposition day on Thursday to force a debate and vote on extending the mission.


Geographic location: Afghanistan, Canada, OTTAWA Kabul

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Recent comments

  • me myself ni
    November 17, 2010 - 07:05

    I am getting tired of Mr. Layton's comments. To this date he is the only Leader of a party that has no gone overseas to visit the troops or show his support for the troops at a base. Why is that? Tell you what if you want to know the real answer ask someone that serves this country and you will see that we want to be there doing our jobs. On the news all you hear about is the bad things that happen. We along with the other NATO countries have done a world of good over there. You dont hear about the schools, hospitals roads, or fresh water wells that have been made or the aid we have brought. Maybe the media should to a broadcast on that. Who really cares on what its costing its bringing someone in this world safty. I'd finish my career overseas if I could cause you get fulfilment out of seeing peoples faces when good has been done. I do agree on one thing though this war will never be won, that i do agree on.

  • Anon
    November 16, 2010 - 16:44

    there were non-combat troops in France until D-Day. Just because we arn't fighting "terrorists" who were created, trained and funded by the CIA and Mossad, doesn't mean we aren't still illegally occupying the nation of Afghanistan in order to reap its resources while short changing the people there. You wonder why these people are fighting? That's why. Imagine for a second a rich and powerful Islamic country invaded Newfoundland. America, being the good christians they are, decide to give us 6 billion dollars, guerilla warfare training, weapons and support to fight off our common enemy only to turn around and invade Newfoundland for their own profit instead of the previous invading nation. Well what would Newfoundlanders do with their guns and their training? They'ed take up arms and revolt, there would be blood running in the streets and the situation over there is no different. Unfortunately, the media, the people and its government has their heads up their you-know-whats and don't see the futility in continuing this occupation. PULL OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW! BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW! DEMAND AN INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO 9/11 AND DO IT RIGHT THIS TIME! MAKE BUSH AND CHENEY TESTIFY UNDER OATH! FIND OUT IF WE ARE FIGHTING A WAR BASED ON LIES, WHO KNEW ABOUT THE LIES AND SENT OUR TROOPS TO DIE THERE ANYWAY AND CHARGE THEM WITH TREASON! Finally, Boycott the union! The United Abombinations is an ideology not a league of nations.

  • Bill from the mainland
    November 16, 2010 - 16:28

    So in essence Mr. Harper doesn't "need" Newfoundland to run the country. Except for the oil revenues, and of course their young men and women to go and keep fighting so he can look good on the world stage. What happened to 2011 AND THAT'S IT? I am amazed that people back home aren't marching in the streets! These are our friends, brothers, fathers and sons that are doing the dying! Seems like my home is still getting screwed by this country. When is this country ever going to give back?