For first time in their history, Canada leaving battlefield with war still raging.

Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner, commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan (right), shares a smile with Lt.-Col. Steve Miller, who is charge of the 3rd Battalion 21st U.S. Infantry Regiment, (left) as Lt.-Col. Michel-Henri St-Louis, the commander of the 1st Battalion Royal 22e Regiment battle group (seated) signs transfer of authority papers on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. For all intents and purposes Canada's war in Kandahar ended Tuesday as the battlefield was formally handed over to American units. MURRAY BREWSTER/THE CANADIAN PRESS

“We are packing up our dolls and dishes, exchanging gifts with our hosts — embroidered bolts of cloth for them, traditional Afghan man-shawls for us, awkward embraces all ’round — and heading home, putting the best face possible on an about-face that allows us to not lose face.

As of Tuesday, July 5, 2011, after 62 months and 157 lives lost, we’re done here.

At ease, Canada.

… There is still a Canadian platoon out in the field, conducting joint patrols with Americans and the Afghan National Army, but this is a segue presence and will conclude shortly. A training team, of course, remains in Kabul, expanding in months to come — the oar that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will allow to keep paddling against the current of Afghanistan destabilizing further, possibly reversing into chaos, anarchy and civil war anew.

But Canadians are now out of harm’s way, released from the badlands of Kandahar, even if that’s not what Canadian solders wanted.”–leaving-is-hard-to-do-even-in-afghanistan

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