Our view: Our post-Afghan role will change

July 5 isn’t likely to leave a lasting mark on history. However, the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan is a historic moment for our nation. The book is closed on our decade-long involvement and it will take at least as much time before we’ll truly understand what our soldiers were able to achieve.

July 5 isn’t likely to leave a lasting mark on history. However, the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan is a historic moment for our nation. The book is closed on our decade-long involvement and it will take at least as much time before we’ll truly understand what our soldiers were able to achieve.

Locally, more than 300 members of the Canadian Forces stationed at CFB Esquimalt took part in operations in Afghanistan. These men and women served as doctors, nurses, medical assistants, construction engineers, divers, military police as well as roadside bomb disposal and combat support in one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

The question now is what’s next for Canada’s military? After spending so much time and resources in Afghanistan the culture of our forces has been indelibly shaped by this experience.

Of course, some of the attention is now focused on Libya and its ongoing civil war.

From CFB Esquimalt, 250 personnel are preparing to sail for the north African nation.

HMCS Vancouver, a frigate considered one of the workhorses of Canada’s Navy, is expected to leave from here early next week.

It will join Canadian troops already fighting with NATO forces. But this does not appear to be the kind of endless conflict that was Afghanistan.

And then there are plans for a ramped up military presence in the Arctic. This will also take tremendous resources but will be an entirely different kind of mission.

The question remains about what our military’s role should be outside our borders.

The war in Afghanistan cost Canadians more than $11 billion, a number that could double as we deal with the legacy of returning veterans.

Despite our departure the work continues, including by a contingent of Canadians tasked with training Afghans to take charge of their own security. Elsewhere in the world we can only guess where the next trouble spot will be.

We might not make a big deal come next July 5, but Canadians can take pride in the work done by our military personnel over the last decade and feel confident that whatever comes next, they’ll continue to make a difference on the world stage.

-Vic News

Just Posted

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

A report put forward by the Downtown Victoria Business Association asked owners for input

Pair of Saanich fires, including one that resulted in a death, remain under investigation

Saanich Fire expect to wrap up investigation into Richmond Road Tuesday

Wind gusts turn away cruise ships from Victoria harbour

Weather conditions make docking difficult for large ships

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read