It would be tempting to say that this story marks the end of Canada’s longest war, but that would depend on how one defines war. This summer Canadians are heading back to Kabul, where the mission started in 2002, to begin training and supporting Afghan government forces. Does that new mission meet the definition of war? For deploying soldiers and their families, the answer is probably yes. However, this story from today’s Globe and Mail does mark an important date in Canadian military history. MP+

July 5, 2011
Canadian troops formally hand over Kandahar battlefield to U.S. forces
By Susan Sachs

(Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) Commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan Brigadier General Dean Milner (R) receives a carpet from Haji Faluddin Agha, Governor of Panjwai district, following a ceremony marking the Canadian handover of Forward Fire Base Masum Ghar to US forces in Panjwai district in Kandahar province on July 5, 2011.

Muted ceremony filled with expressions of mutual admiration mark one of last rituals in Canada’s long goodbye Canada formally handed over its battle zone to an American battalion today, passing one of the last signposts on its way to end of combat mission in Afghanistan.

It was a muted ceremony, filled with expressions of mutual admiration and attended by Afghan military officers and Panjwai district notables who have been dealing with Canadians soldiers for more than five years.

It was also one of the last rituals of Canada’s long goodbye to Kandahar.

Read the whole piece here.

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