Canadian special forces already in Mali

Canadian special forces soldiers are already deployed in Mali protecting Canadian diplomats, CBC News reports, but according to the government they are not on a “combat” mission (“Canadian special forces on ground in Mali, sources say,” CBC News, 28 January 2013):

Canadian special forces are on the ground inside the troubled West African country of Mali to protect Canadian assets there, CBC News has learned.

The special forces are not there to train Malian troops — and they are not involved in any combat role, as the government has repeatedly stressed and Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeated again Monday in the House of Commons.

The Department of National Defence would not confirm or deny the special forces are in Mali due to issues of security of personnel.

But a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs told CBC News, “Steps have been taken to ensure our mission and Canadian personnel are protected.”

Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, reports the special forces on the ground are protecting Canadian assets such as the Canadian Embassy in the capital Bamako, according to sources.

On January 25th, noted the presence of Canadian special forces in the region and asked whether they might soon be operating in Mali. As Monday’s news reports indicate, it now appears that they are already there, although for the time being at least they are not in “combat”.

Mission creep.

Further coverage:

Photo credit: DND

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4 Responses to “Canadian special forces already in Mali”

  1. Captain Colin Smith. M.Sc.January 29, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    In an era when it is sexy and politically convenient to have a part of the military which will do the government’s bidding covertly, giving it ‘plausible deniability’, is it any wonder that JTF-2 exists to do it’s dirty work? By dirty work I mean overthrowing a democratically-elected legitimate government, in this case Haiti. In 2004 the Canadian government, in the guise of these licensed thugs, in concert with France, and led by the USA, invaded Haiti and forced the legitimate and constitutionally-elected government of Jean-Paul Aristide. JTF-2 secured the airport. The US gave Aristide an ultimatum……resign or be fed to the CIA-armed and sponsored army of war criminals invading from the Dominican Republic. Aristide and his wife had little choice. All this is reported by Aristide’s personal pilot, who witnessed it all. Shameful Canada. Shameful JTF. Like the SAS they’re merely licensed thugs paid to do the government’s dirty work. With someone as morally bankrupt as Harper generating the targets, heaven knows what they’ll be doing in Mali.

    • FreeBirthToadFebruary 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      Hey Colin, are you in the military?

  2. ArcherJanuary 29, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Protecting VIPs in volatile regions is a perfectly normal function for JTF2.

    While it is indeed possible that we have a different sort of presence there, this in itself does not constitute “mission creep” or anything near it.

    Would you rather our diplomats and military personnel went with local security in this time of turmoil? I for one prefer to protect Canadians with our finest, no matter my opinion of their mission.


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