Since 1899, Canada's military has contributed armed personnel in seven major wars, including both World Wars, the Korean War, Afghanistan and the recent mission in Libya.
Approximately 113,000 soldiers have sacrificed their lives over the course of Canadian military history since the Second Boer War in 1899.
Keeping the peace
Canada has been involved in more than 33 UN peacekeeping missions, including Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, the Congo, Darfur, Libya and the Middle East.
Over 120,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping operations (PKOs) worldwide since the end of WWII.
Currently, there are 126 Canadians deployed on UN PKOs, ranking Canada 55th out of 108 police and military contributing countries.
114 Canadians have lost their lives serving on PKOs since the end of WWII, the second highest number of peacekeeping casualties in the world.
Afghanistan, 10 years later
158 Canadian Forces and aid workers have lost their lives through fighting and service in Afghanistan since 2003.
This past July, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the combat part of the mission was over. As of December 2011, all combat troops will have withdrawn from Afghanistan.
950 Canadian Forces personnel have been transferred from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to train the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army.
At the start of the mission, there was wide support from Canadians for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, at nearly 75 per cent.
Since then, public opinion has dropped steadily, from 46 per cent in favour in 2006, to 36 per cent in 2008 and 28 per cent by the end of 2009.*
A July 2011 poll conducted by QMI Agency and Sun Media found only 33 per cent of Canadians thought the tour in Afghanistan was worthwhile.
* Polls conducted by The Washington Post, Strategic Counsel, and Angus Reid respectively.
Fighting in the future?
Michael Byers and the Martin Liberal government proposed a Peacekeeping Brigade, a faction of the Canadian Forces dedicated solely to peacekeeping.
A 2009 Ipsos Reid poll of 1,300 Canadians say 50 per cent support the idea of peacekeeping-only soldiers.
Kate White, executive director of the United Nations Association in Canada, says discussions of the creation of a UN military (versus contracting NATO forces) have occurred in the past. She says that perhaps following Afghanistan and the Arab revolts, it may be time to revisit the idea.