MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 1 Apr 11
- Libya Ops – “Prime Minister Stephen Harper underlined today that there will be no Canadian boots on the ground in Libya, but he would not say if he believes allies should arm rebels to overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Harper says contributing ground troops was never part the mission authorized by Parliament before his minority government was defeated in a confidence motion last motion last Friday …. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Canada should be working the diplomatic backrooms to get Gadhafi to leave. Harper, at a campaign stop in Halifax, said the federal government’s position has always been that the dictator has lost all legitimacy and should step down. NDP Leader Jack Layton said he’s already warned the prime minister that he’s concerned about mission creep and his party would oppose the inclusion of ground troops. None of the party leaders addressed the issue of the mission’s unknown cost ….” More on that from the Globe & Mail here and QMI/Sun Media here, as well as why it’s not likely to come up more on the federal election campaign trail from Postmedia News here.
- “The greatest challenge for police participating in Canada’s upcoming training mission in Afghanistan will be building trust between the Afghan police and locals, an RCMP deputy commissioner said Thursday after touring the war-torn country. Several senior police commanders wrapped up a weeklong visit of Kabul and Kandahar in a bid to better define what their officers will be teaching their Afghan counterparts once the training mission, dubbed Operation Attention, begins this summer. RCMP deputy commissioner Bob Paulson, who oversees federal and international policing, echoed the oft-repeated sentiment of military commanders when he said strengthening the links between the community and Afghan police will be a major goal ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged across Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul.
- “The military’s top cop will gain greater authority and power in a quiet reorganization that takes effect Friday, The Canadian Press has learned. The changes will see all military police report directly to the Canadian Forces provost marshal in a shuffle that critics say should have been done long ago and could have prevented the Afghan prisoner controversy from becoming a scandal. At the heart of the abuse debate was the question of whether military police should have investigated reports that Afghan jailers might have tortured prisoners handed over by Canadian troops. Critics said repeatedly throughout public hearings into the abuse allegations that military police in Afghanistan, who reported to the local commander, were in a conflict of interest and should have had more independence. There were also complaints that the provost marshal did not have the overall authority to direct all military cops. Changes were ordered by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk last summer. All military police will now report to the provost marshal, instead of a local commander. “What it will do is allow us a bit more oversight on general policing duties in a place like Kandahar Airfield or Kabul to identify something that is more serious that needs to be examined and reach in with a bit more agility,” said Col. Tim Grubb, the current provost marshal ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War – Academic argues we should be discussing the “why?” more than the “how much?” “…. Obsessive controversy over acquisition costs and technical capacities embarrasses our heritage, the proud service of Canada’s military, and the moral imperative of our action in the world. If these are the tools we need, then let’s not dither. But at least give us the dignity of debating the why of our role in the world. At least give us some soul in Canadian foreign policy.”
- Ooopsie…. “A Beamsville man is facing a slew of charges in the wake of a joint investigation by the Canadian Forces and Niagara police. Aaron Lacey, 38, was arrested at his Hawthorne Drive home Wednesday morning and charged with five counts of personating a Canadian military officer, criminal harassment and 10 counts of breach of recognizance, according to police. The Ottawa-based Canadian Forces National Investigation Service launched its investigation last fall on the suspicion that Lacey was involved with criminally harassing a senior military officer. It’s not Lacey’s first run-in with the law — or the military. Last August, he was also charged with personating a Canadian military officer, attempted fraud over $5,000, four counts of forgery and uttering a forged document. Police say Wednesday’s breach of recognizance charges stem from those incidents ….” A bit more from the media here, here’s what the Niagara police have to say, and here’s some discussion on Army.ca about the case.
- A man claiming to be learning parachuting to train Canadian military forces has been killed in a parachute accident in the U.S. “A longtime skydiving instructor was one of two parachutists who fell to their deaths Thursday after their parachutes collided over Perris Valley Airport. Patrick McGowan had worked with Skydive Perris for almost two decades and oversaw parachuting activities at the airport. The collision appears to have happened 300 to 400 feet above the ground, said the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in a news release. The parachutes collided, deflating both. Neither reinflated and the men fell. A rescue crew from the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department was alerted to the incident at 3:36 p.m., said Melody Hendrickson, a Cal Fire spokeswoman, in a news release. When firefighters arrived at the popular skydiving venue, they found airport personnel administering CPR. Both men were pronounced dead at 4 p.m., Cal Fire said. Scott Smith, western regional director of the U.S. Parachute Association, said Smith was a veteran skydiver and instructor. “He had over 17,000 jumps,” Smith said. The other man was identified by Riverside County sheriff’s as Christopher David Stasky, 42, of San Diego. Smith said he was helping McGowan train parachute instructors for the Canadian military ….”