There are facts—few and far between—about the exploits of JTF2 in Afghanistan and then there are the long, dark shadows.

The unknown is as black as the operations that Canada’s premier counter-terrorist force conducts in Afghanistan. The facts, relayed by Col. Bernd Horn, former deputy commander of the military wing that runs Joint Task Force Two, are shocking to the uninitiated.

“Few realize Canadian (special operation forces) personnel have removed an entire generation of Taliban leadership in Kandahar, many of whom were responsible for the deaths of Canadian service personnel,” he wrote in the Canadian Military Journal.

“For individuals who have no understanding of special operation forces, that they exist, how they operate, what they do … sure it is (a surprise),” Horn said in an interview Thursday from Kingston, where he is now a professor at the Canadian Defense Academy.

JTF2, which originally trained for hostage rescue and stealth missions at a base outside Ottawa, has been working alongside British, American, German and other special operation teams since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

Its elite soldiers were honored by former U.S. president George W. Bush in 2004 for heroism. Along with U.S. Navy SEALs, Delta Force and other nations attached to Task Force K-Bar they killed more than 100 Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters over six months and destroyed training camps.

“The warriors of … Task Force K-Bar established an unprecedented 100 per cent mission success rate across a broad spectrum of special operations under extremely difficult and constantly dangerous conditions,” the commendation read.

But if JTF2 makes it into the news, it often means something has gone wrong. A 2002 photograph showing members of the unit exiting a U.S. military airplane with Afghan detainees is one such example. Then-prime minister Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government had denied Canadian soldiers were even taking prisoners at the time.

Read the rest of Allan Woods’ article at The Star.

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There are facts—few and far between—about the exploits of JTF2 in Afghanistan and then…