MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – August 3, 2012
- Way Up North (1) “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced …. the beginning of Operation Nanook, Canada’s premier annual northern sovereignty operation. Now in its sixth year, Operation Nanook will run from August 1st to the 26th and will involve over 1250 Canadian Forces personnel working to expand and refine their skills in cooperation with other federal departments, and other levels of government …. This year’s operation will be conducted in two new, distinct locations: in the Western Arctic in and around Inuvik, and Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories; and in the Eastern Arctic in the Hudson Strait, Hudson Bay and its littoral area including Churchill, Manitoba. The Western scenario will include the building of two temporary bases of operations, will feature close collaboration between local and federal officials, and will employ the Canadian Forces in the air and on land. The Eastern scenario will focus on the approach of a vessel of interest. Both scenarios will underline the domestic role played by the Canadian Forces in safeguarding the nation, deterring threats to our security, and responding to emergencies in the High North ….” – more in the Backgrounder here.
- Way Up North (2) Credit where due – the Canada Command Info-machine is already cranking out Op Nanook photos via a Flickr feed. Good show!
- Elsewhere, here’s a photo of what HMCS Charlottetown is up to in the Gulf of Oman (via Milnet.ca)
- Syria Canada’s Foreign Minister on Kofi Annan resigning from trying to help hammer out a deal “Canada is not overly surprised to learn of this development given Assad’s blatant disregard for commitments to Mr. Annan’s peace plan. The Assad regime’s violent campaign to suppress the Syrian opposition has claimed tens of thousands of innocent lives; it threatens to claim even more lives and further burden Syria’s neighbours. We are grateful for Mr. Annan’s noble and tireless efforts to bring peace to Syria and support a Syrian-led political transition. Sadly, with his departure, his six-point plan is in practical terms dead. “Canada calls on all parties to end the violence and to respect the basic rights of all Syrians ….”
- RIMPAC: It’s not JUST the Navy, you know (courtesy: RCAF Info-machine) “Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force are busy flying, maintaining and supporting the world’s largest international maritime exercise RIM of the Pacific (RIMPAC), which has been taking place in Hawaii since late June. RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. Twenty-two nations, 42 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC this year. The theme of RIMPAC 2012 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners”. The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces ….”
- “Two years after upping its targets for recruiting women, aboriginals and visible minorities, the Canadian Forces is falling far short of meeting its goals. According to statistics provided to CBC News Network’s Power & Politics by the Department of National Defence, women now make up less than 15 per cent of the military – well below the 25 per cent target and even behind its previous target that was based on 2001 census data. isible minorities account for less than 5 per cent of the Canadian Forces – that’s less than half the goal of nearly 12 per cent, and aboriginals make up just over two per cent of the military, compared to the 3.4 per cent target. The employment equity recruiting goals aim to meet the targets by 2013 ….”
- Afghanistan Another critique, this time from a Canadian historian, of how Canada fared in more than one book “Virtually every significant war in history is followed by another, smaller war: the bloodless war among historians, journalists and veterans to set the historical narrative of the war that just ended. That’s what the former Athenian general Thucydides was doing when he wrote his account of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. And now we have Afghanistan, still being fought, with the postwar accounts already appearing, written mostly by journalists – including a few very good ones by Canadians – and generals and diplomats. Canada has not fared well in many of the accounts by non-Canadians – in particular, recent books by respected Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran, British General David Richards and Britain’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, Sherard Cowper-Coles …. Whatever Canada may or may not have accomplished in Kandahar, one fact is indisputable: The Taliban could not seize it. The British and Americans have much to evaluate regarding their own performance. As do Canadians.”
- Khadr Boy One commentator’s opinion: “…. There are two ways that an ideologue usually breaks free: If the ideology is broken in war or if it becomes completely corrupted. When Omar Khadr is released he will probably still support the Jihad. Perhaps the shocks of his life have freed him, but it seems no such transition has occurred. Canada must accept Omar Khadr from Guantanamo and eventually release him from custody. Notwithstanding pleas for sympathy on his part, there is no reason to extend any. There are demands that the government swiftly bring him “home,” but no compelling reasons to do so without taking a careful look at every aspect of his behaviour.”
- War of 1812 One of the biggish names from the war “Like father, like son. And then some. Ignace de Salaberry, from a French-Canadian family with a long history of military service, joined the British Army and was a proud member of the 44th Regiment. So it was no surprise that’s the regiment his son joined — at the age of 14. Eventually, Charles-Michel de Salaberry changed to the 60th Regiment and saw action in the West Indies (where he was recognized for bravery) and Belgium. He became a captain-lieutenant in 1799 and was given a company command in 1803. By 1810 he had been recalled to Canada as a lieutenant-colonel and aide-de-camp to Maj.- Gen. Francis de Rottenburg. In 1812, just before the war, de Salaberry was a given a new command — as chief of staff for the militia and direct command of the Canadian Voltigeurs light infantry, a new corps of predominantly French Canadian volunteers ….”