Whenever the objective has been to disrupt, sabotage, rescue, gather intelligence, combat irregular enemy forces, etc. Special forces have always played a key role throughout the history of warfare. Top of mind commando forces include Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) and, in the United States, the Green Berets, Rangers and Delta Force.
In the case of Canada, The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) is a high-readiness organization, able to deploy special operations forces on very short notice to protect Canadians from threats at home and abroad. CANSOFCOM provides the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) with agile, highly special operations forces.1
In the same spirit in which Chinese strategist Jiang Ziya (Six Secret Teachings) describes the recruiting of talented and motivated men into specialized, elite units tasked with highly difficult functions4, Canada recruits, trains and deploys its commandos, whenever and wherever necessary to protect Canadian interests.
One of the top military elite groups in Canada is Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), Canada’s elite special operations unit (responsible for counterterrorism); this unit is formed out of volunteers from the three branches of the Canadian Armed Forces (army, navy, air force). The name comes from the military’s standard designation for units that are made up of service members from more than one branch of the military. For example, the multi-branch force responsible for military operations in Northern Canada is called Joint Task Force (North). JTF2 consists of assaulters, support personnel and specialists.2
CTV Chief Anchor Lisa Laflamme traveled to the front line in the ground war against ISIS as Canada’s Special Forces trained Kurdish soldiers for the mission to regain Mosul.
This documentary provides with a testimony of the tasks with which (Canadian) special forces were entrusted back then, and of the way in which they carried them out.
- Government of Canada. 2020. Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. Consulted on July 6th, 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/special-operations-forces-command.html
- CBC. 2010. Joint Task Force 2: Canada’s elite fighters. Consulted on July 5th, 2020. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/joint-task-force-2-canada-s-elite-fighters-1.873657
- Sawyer, Ralph D. 1993. The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China. Boulder: Westview Press, Inc. pp. 39, 98–9.
- Wikipedia. 2020. Special Forces. Consulted on July 6th, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_forces#cite_note-7
- YouTube. 2017. Canada’s elite Special Forces mission in Iraq. Retrieved on July 4th, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ssx6_oWji4