Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageCanada's Special Forces are on the ground in Mali

By Karl Gotthardt     Jan 29, 2013 in Politics
Ottawa - Sources of Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) said that members of Canada's secretive Joint Task Force Two (JTF 2) have been deployed on the ground in Mali. Foreign Affairs pointed out that the task force is not involved in combat operations.
Canada's JTF 2 has been deployed on the ground in Mali, according to DND sources. While the task forces is not involved in ground operations, it is deployed to provide protection to the Canadian embassy in Mali's capital city Bamako.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was quick to point out that the force is not involved in combat operations. Rick Roth, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said, in a statement:
"We have been clear; there will be no mission in Mali. Steps have been taken to ensure our mission and Canadian personnel are protected. We cannot comment on security specifics."
Canada's National Defence website for JTF 2
describes the unit's mission to provide a force capable of rendering armed assistance in the resolution of an issue or a potential issue that affects national security.
JTF 2 is responsible for providing to Canada a force capable of rendering armed assistance in the resolution of an issue or a potential issue that affects national security. While JTF 2’s primary role is counter-terrorism, its personnel can be employed in any type of military operations, which include, but are not limited to, surveillance, security advice and close personal protection.
JTF 2 is a secretive special operations unit, which is part of the Special Operations Command. It was first activated in early 1993 to replace the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). Initially it comprised of 100 members, drawn from the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry it is now believed to number approximately 600 members.
The unit has seen service in Bosnia, where it's task was to hunt down snipers. The unit has seen service in Afghanistan since 2001, where it was initially deployed without the knowledge of then Prime Minister Jean Chretien. It continues to serve in Afghanistan today. The unit has also seen action in Haiti and Iraq. Highly respected internationally, the unit has worked with US special operations units and the British Special Air Services (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS).
Canada's Mali mission
Canada deployed one C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to France on January 15th, to provide logistical support to France's mission in Mali, the mission, which was announced to be for one week only, was extended to February 15th.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in the House of Commons, said that any further role for Canadian troops would require consultation with parliamentarians.
"We are providing technical assistance to French and other military forces who are there. We have committed heavy-lift aircraft to that engagement, which is being done under a United Nations mandate. Of course, through this chamber and through committees, we will be consulting with parliamentarians on any further steps that need to be taken."
The Canadian government announced earlier today that it would provide $13 million in aid for humanitarian relief in Mali.
It is not clear if there will be any further involvement in the Mali mission. The United States and European countries are also providing logistical support for the mission. The US has authorized the deployment of US troops for training military members of the African Union (AU), providing forces to support the French operation. France presently has 2500 troops deployed to Mali and the AU is expected to provide 3000, most from Chad.
As is often the case with missions of this nature, one can only hope that mission creep does not expand the mission, involving NATO in another lengthy war.
More about Canadian News, Canadian Politics, Mali, JTF 2, Diplomacy
More news from
Latest News
Top News