Politics

Canadian Forces had valuable ‘insights’ in Afghanistan, defence minister says following damning U.S. report

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canadian Forces deployed to Afghanistan contributed helpful insights to American forces, whose previous navy operations within the nation have drawn new scrutiny following The Washington Submit’s publication of the so-called Afghanistan Papers.

The paperwork obtained and revealed by the Submit are the product of tons of of interviews carried out by the particular inspector basic for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR was mandated to finish a collection of reviews exploring the effectiveness of its practically two-decade, near trillion-dollar mission that it started as a retaliation towards al-Qaeda for the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults. The paperwork fought for in court docket by the Submit embrace notes, transcripts and audio recordings that the topics had been promised wouldn’t be made public by the federal government. They supply an intensive have a look at the frustrations and considerations of high U.S. brass and a lack of know-how of the battle by the American navy and its authorities.

One of many revelations of the Afghanistan Papers is the that because the battle continued, high American navy officers thought-about it an unwinnable battle.

Sajjan accomplished three Afghanistan excursions, the place he labored in intelligence earlier than working instantly with high American troops as an adviser.

In giving his tackle how the Canadian perspective in comparison with that of the People through the mission, Sajjan mentioned the Canadian Armed Forces had a greater understanding of the realities of the battle than its closest allies.

READ MORE: A year-end Q&A with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

“I’d say the insights the Canadians offered have been truly very helpful. That’s one level that I’m making an attempt to get throughout right here, and I respect the People popping out and speaking about this now,” Sajjan mentioned. “Canadians have been offering an excellent perspective, very early on, to have a way more, I’d say, correct account of what’s taking place,”

One passage the Submit highlighted from the hundreds of pages of paperwork to underscore the discontent with the battle by U.S. officers was an interview with Douglas Lute, a former high military basic who grew to become an adviser on the Afghan struggle within the White Home.

“We have been devoid of a elementary understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we have been doing,” Lute mentioned. “What are we making an attempt to do right here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we have been enterprise.”

Sajjan mentioned good choices have been made solely with an “correct” and “good understanding” of the Afghanistan battle.

From 2001 to 2014, 40,000 Canadians served in Afghanistan. There have been 158 Canadian troopers killed. On high of its navy effort, Canada has offered greater than $three billion in worldwide help to Afghanistan since 2001.

In speaking about Canada’s operations in Afghanistan, Sajjan additionally defended well-known Canadian-led features of the mission, such because the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Crew (OMLT, however identified colloquially as omelette) and its stabilization-focused whole-of-government method to the battle.

“What I’m making an attempt to say right here is that the work that Canada did there was extremely valued and I respect different allies popping out with totally different views,” Sajjan mentioned.

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