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Controversy today swirls around Harjit Sajjan, Canada's Minister of Defence, for remarks that he was the "architect" of Operation Medusa, a major offensive in Afghanistan. Sajjan has apologized for that statement.
I made a mistake in describing my role. I wish to retract that description and apologize for it. I am truly sorry: https://t.co/T8LR7mDyBQ— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) April 29, 2017
It may help dispel confusion to read the complete and unabridged letter of recommendation written in 2006 by Brigadier General David Fraser, then commander of Canada's Coalition Task Force in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
National Observer obtained a copy of this letter in 2015. We re-publish it today without comment. There is an image of the original letter below.
16 September 2006
Chief Constable J.H. Graham
Chief Constable of the Vancouver Police
1. I have had the pleasure of having Constable and Major Harjit Sajjan work for me for the past nine months on OPERATION ARCHER/ATHENA, Canada’s contribution to the global war on terror in Afghanistan. I must say that Major Sajjan is one of the most remarkable people I have worked with, and his contribution to the success of the mission and the safety of Canadian soldiers was nothing short of remarkable.
2. Maj Sajjan was specially selected for that demanding and challenging task of acting as the Liaison Officer of the Afghan National Police on behalf of the Combined Task Force (CTF) Aegis HQ because of the civilian skillset he has brought to the table as an undercover narcotics officer. His job further changed into being a special intelligence officer working direct to Commander CTF Aegis because of his ability to understand and exploit criminal networks. He consistently provided the most timely and accurate intelligence available, and he personally fused broad sources of information into an extremely coherent picture upon which most of the formations major operations were based. Not only did he display a rare high level of intellect and experience in his analysis, he also demonstrated remarkable personal courage in his collection efforts, often working in the face of the enemy to collect data and confirm his suspicions, and placing himself almost daily in situations of grave personal risk. His products were cogent and demonstrated a profound understanding of the Taliban (TB) and tribal networks which were critical in making formation and unit operations successful. He was the best single Canadian intelligence asset in theatre, and his hard work, personal bravery, and dogged determination undoubtedly saved a multitude of Coalition lives. Through his courage and dedication, Major Sajjan has single-handedly changed the face of intelligence gathering and analysis in Afghanistan.
3. He tirelessly and selflessly devoted himself to piecing together the ground truth on tribal and Taliban networks in the Kandahar area, and his analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large scale theatre-resourced efforts, including OPERATION MEDUSA, a large scale conventional combat operation that resulted in the defeat of the largest TB insurgent cell yet identified in Afghanistan, with over 1500 Taliban killed or captured. I rate him as one of the best intelligence officers I have ever worked with - fearless, smart, and personable, and I would not hesitate to have him on my staff at any time in the future. I have advised my chain of command that the Canadian Forces must capture his skillset, and seek his advice on how to change our entire tactical intelligence training and architecture to best meet the needs of future deployed units fighting in extremely complex battle space.
4. I cannot thank you enough for allowing Constable Sajjan to deploy with us on OPERATION ARCHER, and he has been an outstanding representative of the Vancouver City Police. I would ask that you pass my personal thanks to Constable Sajjan, and to those who supported him and his family while he was over here with us. I pray that he stays safe now that he returns to the challenges and dangers of his “everyday job,” and ask that if I can ever be of assistance to either Constable Sajjan or your Department, that you do not hesitate to ask.
Commander CTF Aegis