Canada’s seven billion dollar war: The cost of Canadian forces operations in Afghanistan
International Journal, Summer 2008
by David Perry
In March 2008, parliament voted to extend Canadian military operations in Afghanistan through 2011. By July of that year, roughly 41,000 Canadians will have served in the Afghan theatre of operations, 15,000 more than fought in Korea. Given the seriousness of Canada’s commitments, in terms of both blood and treasure, informed discussion of the Afghan war is vital to ensure the public understands the government’s aims and motivations, as well as when Canadians can expect to see the forces return home. On these points, there has been significant discussion amongst the public, parliamentarians, and pundits which, while highly partisan, has included substantive reasoned debates. In contrast, there has been little analysis of the financial burden for the government of Canada—and the Canadian armed forces specifically. For a national military only recently emerging from a decade of budget cuts, the financial cost of such a substantial combat mission is significant.