Romance costs Canada’s top Afghan commander his job

May 30th, 2010 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, May 30 (IANS) Canada Saturday removed top commander of its forces in Afghanistan for having “inappropriate” relations with a female soldier deployed in the war-torn country.

Brigadier General Daniel Menard, head of the Canadian troops in Kandahar, was relieved of his duties and ordered home for having an affair with a female trooper, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

The order for his removal was issued by Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard who is the commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM). “Lt-Gen Lessard made this decision following allegations concerning Brig-Gen Menard’s inappropriate conduct related to the Canadian Forces Personal Relationships and Fraternization directives, which caused Commander CEFCOM to lose confidence in Brig-Gen Menard’s capacity to command,” a statement by the defence department said Saturday.

“An investigation into the circumstances related to the allegations is being launched,” the statement said.

The Canadian Forces - the joint name for its army, air force and navy - forbid intimate relations between soldiers serving on overseas missions. An inappropriate relationship as per Canadian Forces (CF) rules could be “an emotional, romantic, sexual or family relationship, including marriage or a common-law partnership or civil union, between two CF members, or a CF member and a DND employee or contractor, or a member of an allied force.”

The sacked commander, whose partner is also serves in the Canadian Forces, was recently fined $3,500 for accidentally firing his carbine at Kandahar airfield.

The action follows after his inappropriate relationship with the female soldier became the talk at Kandahar airbase, reports said.

Canada deployed 2,500 soldiers in the Kandahar area after joining the US-led coalition war against Taliban and al-Qaeda in 2002. It has lost about 150 personnel so far.

The government has decided to pull out of Afghanistan by December 2011.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

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