Posts Tagged ‘CEFCOM’
- Corporal Steve Martin, R22eR, R.I.P. He’s home. More here, here and here.
- The last gang returning from ROTO 10-1 expected to arrive in Petawawa on Xmas eve – better late than never.
- Louise Arbour, a former Canadian UN judge, UN human rights boss, and president/CEO of a security think tank, tells is straight when it comes to Afghanistan: “…. In the coming months, Canada and other NATO partners are likely to face a critical choice between supporting constitutional review or standing by silently as the Afghan government implodes. The alternative for Afghans is constitutional change – giving power back to the people rather than centring it in Kabul – or a return to full-scale civil war. After so many years of sacrifice on the battlefield and financial generosity at home, Canadians must recognize that their continued engagement in Afghanistan must rest not on wishful thinking but on a policy grounded in reality.”
- Someone in the translation contractor’s office has some ‘splainin’ to do…. “A company that supplies Afghan translators for Canada’s mission in Kandahar may have mistakenly raised the interpreters’ hopes of emigrating to Canada, according to a newly released document. A contingent of Canadian military and civilian officials say International Management Services, or IMS, told interpreters that their immigration papers were being considered — even though not every application was. The officials noted the finding in a report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which they submitted in March after spending three weeks in Kandahar reviewing applications made under a special immigration program …. “Complications arose when (blank) contacted IMS, the prime contractor for many of the CF’s interpreters and other language assistants, to confirm employment records,” the report says. “(Blank) reported that IMS, staffed in Kandahar by local nationals, informed some program applicants that they were being considered. Given that the list submitted to IMS was only of individuals that were potentially eligible, this likely raised false expectations among applicants.” ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban claims 6 Canadians killed on patrol in Zhari, but nothing in mainstream about such an incident.
- UN: Taliban causing more than 3 out of every 4 civilian casualties in Afghanistan lately (PDF, page 13). Taliban spokesperson: Lies! All Lies! Taliban web site: Lies! All Lies! (links to non-terrorist site)
- The UN’s senior official in Afghanistan speaks to the Security Council about how things are going in Afghanistan. What did he say? Depends on what you read.
- Year-end message from the head of Canada’s Expeditionary Force Command: LOTS of changes and work in 2010, but “We don’t know what’s coming next; we only know that the CF is ready, willing and capable of dealing with it when it does.
- Ottawa is extending the deadline for applying for compensation for illnesses linked to the use of Agent Orange and other plant killers at CFB Gagetown in the mid- to late-1960′s. “A New Brunswick widow who lost her husband to cancer six years ago is praising a decision by the federal government that will allow more people to qualify for Agent Orange payments. Bette Hudson, whose husband Ralph died of bone cancer after two decades in the military, said Wednesday that Ottawa finally got it right in loosening the rules on who can get a $20,000 ex gratia payout. Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced in Fredericton that the government is removing a controversial condition that required applicants to be alive on Feb. 6, 2006 — the date the federal Conservatives came to power. “It makes me feel as if my husband is worthy,” she said at the announcement, moments after Blackburn outlined the changes ….” Here’s the Veterans Affairs Canada news release and backgrounder, the Order in Council approving the change and a Canadian Forces page with various history and documents on the issue.
- Canada’s special forces are getting new vehicles (when there’s better ones to buy): “Canada’s special forces are holding off on buying new vehicles until technology catches up to its needs. The Ottawa-based Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) had been looking to replace its Humvee vehicles, now being used in Afghanistan by units such as Joint Task Force 2, but had to cut short its plans after the trucks being examined were determined not to meet various technical specifications. Industry sources say one company, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, bid on the program, estimated to cost a little less than $80 million. The new vehicles were supposed to be acquired next year and were to be located with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment at Petawawa ….”
- More on Canada’s Communications Security Establishment moving into a brand, spanking new building right next to a brand spanking new building for the Department of National Defence (including a few details of a “private-public partnership” for building/running some of the buildings?). More on the usually-low key CSE here, including a letter to the editor from this week here explaining why they need bigger digs.
- Could possible cuts in US funding for their F-35 fighters increase the price of Canada’s proposed buy?
- Who do people responding to an online survey trust more, Canada’s government or Canada’s military? “Canadians have more trust and confidence in Canada’s armed forces than they do in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, according to a new study. The study, based on polling conducted by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and released exclusively to iPolitics, found that 75.7 per cent of respondents had trust and confidence in the Canadian Forces to do a good job compared to only 54.1 per cent who trusted the federal government. While faith in both the Armed Forces and the federal government tended to rise with age, one of the sharpest divides was among English-speaking respondents — 80.3 per cent of whom trusted the military and 52.7 per cent of whom trusted the federal government ….”
- More end-of-year interview stories, this one from CBC.ca: “Defence Minister Peter MacKay is calling on the Afghan government to “pick up the slack” as the Canadian military hammers out the details and logistics of its new training mission in Afghanistan. As NATO allies continue to try to limit corruption and improve Afghanistan’s fledgling democracy and governance, the defence minister cited “incremental progress” in the country in 2010. “There are definitely improvements, tangible improvements that we can see, that we can point to,” MacKay told the CBC’s James Cudmore in a year-end interview. “And yet, all of it is tenuous as far as, will it last?” But MacKay insisted those gains translate into a “shifting of attitudes” among Afghans toward not only Canadian soldiers, but the tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police they are training ….”
- First, NORAD pimps Santa for some good exposure and PR (followed by Canada’s Air Force). Next: NAV CANADA, the agency that runs air traffic control at civilian airports, gets into the act. The latest to hop on the “let’s milk Santa for some attention” bandwagon? Canada’s Minister of Immigration: “Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today reaffirmed Santa Claus as a Canadian citizen during a special citizenship ceremony. “We wish Mr. Claus all the best in his Christmas Eve duties again this year,” said Minister Kenney. “And rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living in Canada’s North, he can re-enter Canada freely once his trip around the world is complete.” Santa was on hand to reaffirm his citizenship while 100 new citizens from 32 countries were sworn in ….”
- In other security news, scumbag anti-Semite who shared info on best way to kill Canadians is back online: “The resurrection of a website advocating the genocide of Jews and Canadians, founded by a Toronto extremist who is wanted by police, highlights the difficulties of policing the Internet, where public postings can be generated and disseminated from almost anywhere. The website was founded by Salman Hossain, 25, a Canadian extremist who fled Canada earlier this year during a police investigation into use of the Internet to promote terrorist violence in Canada. Police subsequently charged him with five hate crimes — two counts of advocating genocide and three counts of promoting hatred — but so far, have been unable to locate him. The site was shut down after the charges were laid. The National Post reported last month that the site had re-emerged on a U.S. free-speech server but was again shut down. This month, it found a new home, through Internet servers based in Switzerland ….” More details on who’s hosting the site now, and the Interpol notice for the chap in question here at Army.ca.
Two tidbits jump out at me today.
1) Canadians appear to be split down the middle with respect to support for Canada’s mission in Afghanistan (with about 1/2 saying they want to know more).
- Guess Who Else Says People Should Know More About AFG Mission?
- Time to Explain Why, What Happens Next
- Selling Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan
The general responsible for all Canadian troops overseas was emphatic this week that his forces will not provide security for Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City beyond next summer.
“It is cease operations across the board in July, 2011,” Lt.-Gen Marc Lessard said in an interview. “The (operational mentor and liaison team), the battle group, the PRT, helicopters. Operations cease.”
However, the parliamentary order that Canada’s soldiers come home next year has put diplomats and aid workers at the PRT in a quandary because Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said that Afghanistan is to become “a strictly civilian mission” after 2011 and would continue to be a huge recipient of Canadian aid.
The difficulty with the prime minister’s stance is that public servants and police that Ottawa has sent to Kandahar City to oversee aid projects and to counsel local authorities on such issues as education, medical care, water management, policing and governance are entirely dependent upon several hundred Canadian infantrymen and combat engineers for their safety and transport.
“There is a political decision that we are awaiting guidance on and when we get it, the civilians will know what they are doing,” said Ben Rowswell, Canada’s representative in Kandahar (RoCK), when asked about the apparent contradiction in the Harper government’s positions on the withdrawal and a continuing civilian mission ….
I guess the Government didn’t see this coming, right? >>insert eyeroll here<<
…. to get the closest approximation of reality.
One news conference by Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard, four different headlines:
- Globe & Mail, first version: “Afghan strategy working, Lt.-Gen. says”
- Globe & Mail, later version: “Troops must prove local commitment, general says “
- The Canadian Press: “Difficult year ahead in Afghanistan, warns senior Canadian commander”
- CanWest/National Post: “Commander sees hope in war-weary Afghanistan.”
Follow-up coverage elsewhere then depends on which version is shared:
- CTV.ca: “Rough year ahead in Afghanistan: Canadian commander” (from Canadian Press)
- CBC.ca: “Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) told The Canadian Press he agrees with McChrystal’s assessment that the next year in Afghanistan will be critical.” **
** - This excerpt is from a longer story about a related issue. I haven’t been able to find a stand-alone story by Canada’s national broadcaster from this news conference. I guess it wasn’t newsworthy enough.
I would love to hear from someone in the government comms business about how feasible it would be to share transcripts of such interviews (not just CF, but any GoC department). That way, the whole exchange could get out there, not JUST what the media pick/choose from it. I know it’s done in other countries – how feasible would it be to do here?