Why Did Canada Get Rid Of Their Special Forces? Former Minister Explains

Canadian Flag in Vancouver by Hannamariah. Shutterstock.

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A former Canadian defense minister said that he eliminated the nation’s special forces regiment to mend its reputation and fix its cultural problems after the Somalia affair, Guardian Australia reported.

Canadian flag in front of Old City Hall in Toronto. By Joshua Davenport. Shutterstock.

Canadian flag in front of Old City Hall in Toronto. By Joshua Davenport. Shutterstock.

In 1991, soldiers from Canada’s elite Airborne Regiment tortured and killed a 16-year-old Somali boy during the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Guardian Australia reported. Additionally, photos of Canadian soldiers posing with the boy and videos of them making racist remarks and participating in hazing rituals surfaced.

As a result, David Collenette eliminated the country’s special forces regiment.

A similar move is now being considered by the Australian Defense Force, reported The Guardian.

The Guardian had obtained photos of two Australian soldiers dancing with a prosthetic leg that belonged to a suspected Taliban fighter, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Report: Photos Emerge Of Soldier Chugging Beer Out Of Dead Taliban Soldier’s Prosthetic Leg)

“I’m not saying that just because Canada did it, other countries have to follow our lead,” David Collenette, the Canadian defense minister, said, according to The Guardian. “But if you’re looking at the experience that we had, where there were … war crimes that ended up in convictions, and that it revealed a systemic problem with the institution from which the individuals came, then it seemed reasonable that, if you didn’t think you could really change the culture, then you needed to take a fresh start, which is what we did and it’s actually worked out.”