The deputy commander of Canada’s special forces says his troops risk being run ragged after three years in Iraq, as well as several other lesser-known missions in other parts of the world.
Brig.-Gen. Peter Dawe says that’s why the Liberal government’s plan to add more than 600 additional soldiers to the elite force is not only welcome, but necessary.
Canada currently has about 2,000 special forces soldiers, many of whom Dawe says have done multiple tours through Iraq since first being sent to help fight the Islamic State group in August 2014.
But Canadian special forces have also been called upon to help train local forces facing extremist threats in different parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America.
The demand doesn’t appear to be letting up, as the government announced last week that Canadian soldiers will stay in Iraq for at least another two years.
Dawe says his troops continue to get the job done, but have been operating “on borrowed time” and need the help to ensure they — and their families — don’t suffer burnout.