Posts Tagged ‘Jack Granatstein’
- Here’s a bit more information and context behind at least one of the Challenger trips Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk in the media lately.
- Afghanistan (1) What the CF is doing about cleaning up the ground underneath what’s soon to be their former base in Kandahar. “Master Corporal Ken Stewart has an important job. The water, fuel and environment technician (WFE tech) is responsible for soil remediation at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) as part of the Mission Transition Task Force (MTTF) working to close down Canadian operations there by the end of the year. Soil contamination from the daily activities of thousands of Canadian soldiers and hundreds of commercial and tactical vehicles is a major concern. Consequently, mitigation of soil degradation is a priority task for the MTTF, a responsibility being undertaken by a team of WFE techs, field engineers and infantry soldiers ….”
- Afghanistan (2) The Army Run’s not JUST in Ottawa today. “More than 600 civilians and military personnel representing multiple allied nations are expected to run tomorrow in the heat, dust and altitude of Kandahar Air Field (KAF), Afghanistan in the KAF Canada Army Run ….” Good luck to all the participants.
- Afghanistan (3) A bit of one Canadian Forces Info-Machine worker’s story in Kabul. “…. It is a somewhat surreal experience to be standing here in Afghanistan. The hot barren mountains of the Hindu Kush which surround the city have been witness to a dramatic stream of human history. I am now part of that history. As I ride in a convoy through the streets of Kabul I am amazed at the differences, and the similarities between here and Canada. On a side street, for example, I see a young father holding the seat of a bicycle while his son learns to ride. The feeling that most consumes me is an overwhelming sense of responsibility. I have a responsibility to the Afghan people who smile and wave to me on the street. I have a responsibility to the mission, and I have an inherent responsibility to those Canadians who have preceded me here. It is their dedication and sacrifice that passes the torch to me. I do not accept it lightly ….”
- “The Royal Canadian Mint has donated $10,000 to the Military Families Fund, raised from sales of its 2010 25-cent poppy coin collector card. The Military Families Fund is a non-profit organization that assist military families who land on unforeseen needs resulted from conditions of service. When launching the 25-cent collector card last October, it was announced all profits would be donated ….”
- Way Up North Senator Colin Kenny on how Canada can show that the Arctic is important. “…. If Canadians want to maintain our sovereignty in the Arctic, we should start demonstrating that we give a damn about the Arctic. Imposing tough environmental regulations on drilling would signal that we are not only in control in our portion of the Arctic, but that we deserve to be.”
- Historian Jack Granatstein on what REALLY drives Canadian foreign and defence policy: “…. for the Harper government, the new reality is that Alberta attitudes drive defence policy, not Quebec opinions. Virtually every opinion poll over recent decades has shown attitudes in Alberta consistently more hawkish than quasi-pacifist opinion in French Canada. The Tories have little support in Quebec, and the last election confirmed that they don’t need Quebec M.P.s to create a parliamentary majority. The coming addition of some thirty more seats in the House of Commons for Ontario and the West will entrench this new reality. In the circumstances, the Conservatives have a free hand to build the defence and foreign policy that suits their view of the world. And they will ….”
- Remembering the Battle of Britain, 71 years later, with a renewed name. ” “For the first time in more than 40 years, we will celebrate the Battle of Britain with the restored name of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said the Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence …. The Battle of Britain, the first major campaign to be conducted entirely in the air, took place in the skies over south eastern Britain and the English Channel from July to October 1940. Vastly outnumbered by the German Luftwaffe, allied pilots and aircrews, including more than 100 Canadian pilots, held the enemy at bay and prevented Hitler’s planned invasion of Great Britain ….”
- Cpl. Yannick Scherrer, Royal 22e Régiment, R.I.P. His funeral is scheduled for Friday 8 Apr 11 in Valcartier.
- Libya Ops (1) - An overview of how much Canada is helping out in/around Libya: “… Looking at the numbers reveals the extent to which Canada is committed. The country’s 15 aircraft—seven CF-18 fighter jets, two Polaris refueling tankers, two Aurora maritime surveillance planes, two Hercules transport aircraft, one Globemaster airlift plane, as well as one Sea King helicopter, according to CF public affairs official Maj. Andre E. Salloum—makes Canada the largest air force from any mid-sized contributing nation. As well, there are now 531 Canadian military personnel working on the Libya file—250 aboard the Canadian warship HMCS Charlottetown deployed in the region, 246 at a variety of airbases, 23 more at NATO’s headquarters in Naples, Italy, and a further 12 around the world, said Maj. Salloum. Add to this Special Forces like JTF2 who are widely reported to be in Libya (although this is neither confirmed nor denied by officials) and the fact that Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard is now running NATO’s entire Libya operation ….”
- Libya Ops (2) – Good question from historian Jack Granatstein. “While nothing is certain yet, it seems increasingly likely that the Gadhafi regime will survive in Libya, at least in the west of the country and possibly with much of the nation’s oil wealth. Survival will be a victory for Gadhafi, a triumph over the Americans and NATO, and that will give Gadhafi himself great credibility with the community of dictators. All will be emboldened by his resistance. But what will his survival mean for the West? ….”
- Election Promises – More critique of the Liberals’ defence platform here and here (Postmedia News).
- Still more on how the Government of Canada wants one of the probes into how Afghan detainees were treated to exclude non-military sources here (Postmedia News).
- An American think tank says the U.S. military’s infrastructure in Europe is in the best position to manage Arctic operations (h/t to prolific blogger Mark Collins).
- F-35 Tug o’ War Ceasefire.ca brings in an American anti-F-35 spokesperson, and gets quite a bit of coverage (the American, not ceasefire.ca) here, here and here.
- “Col. Dave Cochrane is leaving his post as commander of Canada’s largest air base, but defence ministry officials have refused to comment on his move until after the federal election. Cochrane is the base commander appointed in the days following the conviction of Russell Williams on two counts of murder, sex assaults and a litany of fetish break-ins. His primary role in early days of his command was to lift the spirits of base personnel whose morale was in the dumps following Williams’ crimes. A request by QMI Agency to interview Cochrane regarding his departure to take on “professional development and advanced training” in Australia was denied by the Department of National Defence (DND). Suggesting a phone interview with the air base’s commanding officer “could affect the outcome” of the federal election, a public affairs officer at DND’s media liaison office in Ottawa said Tuesday the Canadian Forces’ communication department will not allow an interview with the colonel ….” More here.
- “One of the migrants who came to Canada last summer aboard the MV Sun Sea worked for two years inside a Tamil Tiger compound not because he wanted to help the terrorist organization but to avoid being forced into combat, the Immigration and Refugee Board heard Tuesday. In fact, prior to entering the compound, the man spent six months hiding in the jungles to avoid being recruited, the man’s parents testified by phone from Sri Lanka. But a representative for the Canada Border Services Agency, which is seeking the man’s deportation, said Tuesday that even though the man never faced battle, his work as a storekeeper inside the compound still benefited Tamil Tiger soldiers and therefore constitutes membership within the banned organization ….”
Rosie DiManno has done a kick-ass job covering the hard work Canadian troops have been doing overseas, but I have to disagree with her latest column on the Daniel Ménard court martial over an affair he had with a subordinate. Here’s the e-mail I wrote and sent to Rosie:
On your Menard column: while I’ve enjoyed your material from downrange, I have to say we’re not eye-to-eye on this one.
1) You say it’s a “policy” not to have sex with colleagues. In fact, I stand to be corrected, but my understanding is that Canadian troops sign a piece of paper saying they will not fraternize while in theatre. This included the General, so this is, at one level, not living up to one’s word.
2) You say “Proscriptions against physical intimacy may be intended to safeguard morale — or so the tall forehead brass claim — but the opposite is true in practice; a good fraternizing snog can do wonders for esprit de corps.” You think seeing a boss contravene orders everyone else is supposed to follow is good for morale? How about if an affair leads to, say, the boss’ lover getting more goodie jobs and fewer shitty jobs? How’s THAT for morale? And that doesn’t JUST apply in the military – I’m guessing there’s all sorts of (and too many) private sector examples of that out there. Except in the military, the bosses can have the power to choose who goes into situations where lives are threatened – I don’t want such decisions coloured by outside factors like romantic entanglements.
3) You also say, “Far from home, living in close quarters, physically fit men and women coping with boredom punctuated by the occasional sharp up-tick of adrenalin and the very real threat of danger, it is entirely human nature to seek out comforts of the flesh.” Call me dinosaurish, but if someone can be ordered to run towards bullets when instinct says the healthier option is to run away, I think they can be trained to keep off the fraternization wagon temporarily.
I’m hoping this helps you frame the situation a bit differently.
Take care, and although I may not agree with you on this one, thanks for getting the message out about the work the CF does.
And here’s what else I should have added:
- There may be a temptation to also say, “hey, if she wasn’t working directly for him, no biggie”. Really? To use a media example, if the publisher is “snogging” a junior sales person, is the sales manager (who, in many shops, reports to the publisher) free to assign and supervise said sales person the same way as the other sales persons? Ideally, yes. Realistically? It would be a pretty compartmentalized publisher who would let one of his subordinates dish out crap jobs to his/her lover without even hinting that things could be different.
- Re: “Menard, Canada’s former top soldier in Afghanistan, is facing — technically —prison time and dishonorable discharge if convicted on two charges of conduct prejudicial and four for obstructing justice … the latter, according to sources, arise from Menard allegedly asking the woman to delete email messages he’d sent her.” On this, we’ll see what the evidence and the verdict have to say. That said, if any other government official deleted emails, or asked to delete emails, to prevent detection of wrong doing, how big a font would your paper or other media outlets use for the word “Cover Up” in a headline? A lot of people see this – trying to cover one’s tracks in a position of very senior leadership – as at least as serious, if proven, as the relationship issue itself.
Update (1): Soon to be EX-General….
Update (2): Menard pleads guilty – no word on sentence yet.