Canada’s engagement in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2011 was marked by significant progress across our six priorities, three signature projects and well beyond. The dedication and perseverance of our military and civilian professionals in Afghanistan know no equal. They worked tirelessly and bravely to support the Afghan people in rebuilding their nation as one that is safe, secure and democratic.
Canada went into the most difficult, lawless and violent region—Kandahar province. For the first time in our history, the Canadian military engaged in a prolonged counter-insurgency conflict at the same time as Canadian civilian experts provided leadership in governance and development.
Our commitment to the Afghan people helped achieve a number of positive results: a strengthened security environment and security forces with greater capabilities to defend their people and their nation; more opportunities for Afghan children, especially girls, to attend school; development programs enabling the Afghan people to reclaim the agricultural foundation of their economy; health initiatives to battle polio; and advancements in democracy and human rights.
Canada has proudly played a part in the international effort to bring positive change to Afghanistan. Through the inevitable setbacks faced, we kept moving forward. Our resolve to help Afghanistan has never wavered. The losses we endured will never be forgotten.