Ministers of Veterans Affairs, National Defence and Public Safety mark 10th anniversary of the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan


Ottawa, ON Canada’s mission in Afghanistan ended 10 years ago. Today, we honour the more than 40,000 Canadians in uniform – including members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and civilian police agencies – who served in Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of civilians and government officials from the Department of National Defence and Global Affairs Canada.

On this solemn anniversary, we acknowledge and thank the brave Canadians who proudly served our country in Afghanistan, including many Canadians who returned with enduring physical and psychological wounds. We will continue to do whatever it takes to support these brave Canadians and their families, who continue to grapple with the profound impact and legacy of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

The mission in Afghanistan remains Canada’s third largest military effort since the First and Second World Wars. The combat phase commenced with Operation APOLLO in October 2001, as the Canadian Armed Forces deployed to Southwest Asia to join multinational efforts aimed at dismantling the Taliban regime and combating al-Qaeda.

Subsequently, Operation ATHENA saw Canadian Armed Forces Kabul, as part of the International Security Assistance Force, assisting the Government of Afghanistan with security, governance and development.

Later, our forces returned to Kandahar Province to operate a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the city of Kandahar and to provide combat forces in support of multinational efforts in southern Afghanistan.

In 2006, Canadian Armed Forces members experienced heavy fighting against insurgent forces, including during Operation MEDUSA that September. It was Canada’s largest combat operation in over 50 years, with more than 1,000 Canadian, American, Afghan and other allied troops involved. Tragically, 12 Canadian Armed Forces members were killed during this hard fought effort.

In July 2011, efforts in Afghanistan shifted from combat to training Afghanistan’s army and police force under Operation ATTENTION. Alongside approximately 300 RCMP members, and provincial and municipal police officers, the Canadian Armed Forces worked to train, build and mentor the Afghan National Police Force. The Canadian Armed Forces continued these efforts until the end of our military mission in Afghanistan in March 2014.

Our ongoing support is driven by our deep connection to Afghanistan, including with those who served alongside us for over two decades, our desire to serve the Afghan people, and their growing diaspora that has helped to strengthen Canada. In October 2023, Canada met its commitment to welcome at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans since August 2021 and we will continue to bring Afghans to safety.

Today, let us honour all of those who served, and remember the 158 Canadian Armed Forces members who were killed serving their country, as well as seven Canadian civilians – a diplomat, four aid workers, a government contractor and a journalist – who died during the Afghanistan mission. Throughout the mission, Canadian families played a vital role in supporting our troops overseas; their support continues to this day. Our thoughts remain with their families, and all those who have been touched by Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.

Associated links:



Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada

Isabelle Arseneau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations Office
Department of National Defence

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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