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2001 – 2014

On 11 September 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes in the United States. They crashed two planes into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and another in rural Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people died. Evidence suggested the terrorist group al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, was responsible. An extremist regime, the Taliban, had provided sanctuary for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Afghan government refused to extradite bin Laden and his militants. The US formed an international coalition to use force against the Taliban. Its goal was to end this safe haven for terrorists, stabilize the country and help the Afghan people after years of conflict. More than 40,000 Canadians would serve in the region. This was the largest deployment of our troops since the Second World War. The conflict lasted more than 12 years— the longest in Canada's history.

Afghanistan stories

People and stories main page

Classroom materials

Classroom materials main page

Lesson plan: Ages 8-11

I Remember Afghanistan

Develop a basic understanding of the Canadian Armed Forces efforts in Afghanistan.

Lesson plan: Ages 12-14

Afghanistan Remembrance Dog Tag

Better understand the contributions of Canadian Armed Forces members who died in Afghanistan.

Lesson plan: Ages 15-18

Afghanistan Fact Quest

Gain an appreciation of the challenges faced by the Canadian Armed Forces members who served in Afghanistan.

Photo gallery


11 September 2001

Deadly Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks take place in the United States

7 October 2001

Canada pledges support to international efforts to combat terrorism. The CAF launches Operation APOLLO

December 2001

Canadian special forces soldiers arrive in Afghanistan


Canada begins contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as part of Operation ATHENA

9 February 2004

Canada's Lieutenant-General Rick Hillier assumes command of the ISAF in Afghanistan

August 2005

Canada assumes leadership of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team

September 2006

Canada leads Operation MEDUSA, the largest Canadian combat operation since the Korean War

May 2011

Operation ATTENTION begins as Canadians start to train the national security forces in Afghanistan

March 2014

Canada's military mission in Afghanistan ends

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