Since 9-11, the JTF2 have operated alongside their allied counterparts and earned much deserved praise.
However, what Canada has failed to establish is an international intelligence-gathering agency that would compare with the CIA or Britainâ€™s MI5 and MI6. As a result, our Special Forces operatives are completely reliant upon our alliesâ€™ information to execute their missions in Afghanistan.
While welcomed by our NATO partners for their professionalism and discipline, without an independent intelligence agency, our JTF2 are essentially highly trained mercenaries. While the usual suspects responded to the CBC stories by calling for additional civilian oversight of our secret commandos, the more fundamental question would be: Is this sort of specialized unit something Canada should be fielding in the first place?
As a former colony, we really donâ€™t have any deep-rooted footprints around the globe. As such, it would be difficult to begin assembling a first-class international intelligence agency.
However, if we are serious about employing the type of capability the JTF2 represents, then Canada must make a spy network a priority.
Otherwise, we should remove the cloak and dagger secrecy, send the commando elements back into our regular combat forces and let the remaining JTF2 operatives focus on their domestic security duties.