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Red Chair Guests Talk About Canada’s 12-Year Mission In Afghanistan
March 12, 2014
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Today, troops hauled down the Canadian flag at NATO headquarters in Kabul, officially ending Canada's 12-year mission in Afghanistan. According to the Canadian Press, Canada spent about $12 billion on the mission, including funds for training the Afghan National Army, diplomacy and veteran's affairs. Over the course of the deployment, 162 soldiers lost their lives, and 2,179 soldiers were wounded.

CBC News has put together this video timeline of Canada's deployment, from former prime minister Jean Chrétien making the case for military involvement to soldiers reflecting on their time in the country:

Over the years, many guests have talked to George about different aspects of the mission. We've rounded up some of those interviews below.

General Rick Hillier

Retired General Rick Hillier has been a frequent guest in the red chair, both during and after the time he spent as Chief of Defence Staff. In 2010, he reflected about his time leading Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

General Walter Natynczyk

Hillier's successor as Chief of Defence Staff was General Walter Natynczyk, who spoke with George about his long military career and some of the things that Canadian soldiers had accomplished in Afghanistan.

Master Corporal Paul Franklin

On January 15, 2006, Master Corporal Paul Franklin was the victim of a suicide bombing in Afghanistan which claimed both of his legs. He went on to train military medics in Australia, and he's become an advocate for wounded Canadian soldiers. He first spoke with George in 2007.

Peter Tinsley

The former chair of Canada's Military Police Complaints Commission shared his concerns with George around the treatment of Afghan detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers in 2010.

Brian Stewart

Veteran CBC broadcaster Brian Stewart joined George in 2010 to talk about the state of the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the American troop surge.

Peter MacKay

In 2012, George spoke with Canada's Defence Minister (and former Foreign Affairs Minister) Peter MacKay, and one of the topics that came up was the changing explanations that Canadians have been offered for our involvement in Afghanistan.

Christie Blatchford

Columnist Christie Blatchford talked to George about her book Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army.

Louie Palu

Award-winning photojournalist Louie Palu spoke with George in 2010 about his time embedded with front-line combat troops in Afghanistan.

March To The Top

Corporal Franck Dupéré and Master Corporal Peter Burcew were part of March To The Top, a CBC documentary about 12 wounded veterans who climb Island Peak, a 6189-metre mountain near Everest. In this clip, they tell George about why they decided to participate in the climb.

Country singer Paul Brandt played a campfire performance to send off the March To The Top soldiers. He spoke with George about the importance of the project.

Captain Simon Mailloux

Earlier this season, George spoke with Captain Simon Mailloux, the first known Canadian soldier to return to active service after an amputation.

Lance Corporal Cassidy Little

George's interview with Lance Corporal Cassidy Little, a Newfoundlander currently serving in the British Royal Marines, airs later this season. In this clip, he talks about his rehabilitation from injuries suffered during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.


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