As opposition politicians continue to hammer Canada’s defence minister for trying to claim credit as “the architect” of a major Afghan war operation, some in and out of uniform are questioning why anyone would want to have what, is arguably, a dubious honour.
In some military circles, the 2006 Canadian-led Operation Medusa is seen as a failure.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, himself an Afghan veteran, has faced calls for his resignation after claiming credit for Medusa, which he said “removed about 1,500 Taliban fighters off the battlefield.”
Sajjan, who contributed to the operation as an intelligence officer, has since apologized for embellishing his role.
But a U.S. military investigation, which included more than 33 interviews with military planners and those Canadians who fought in the battle, concluded that Medusa was a defeat for coalition forces and a tactical victory for the Taliban.
Retired Canadian Maj.-Gen. Charles Sullivan, involved in the investigation, said in an interview with Postmedia Tuesday he was surprised the minister sought credit as the architect of the operation. “(Medusa) showed how ill-prepared the Canadian Army was, as well as all the deficiencies that existed as it went into an operation it could not execute,” Sullivan said.