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Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

Posts Tagged ‘Jacmel

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 12 Jan 11

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  • A bit more excitement at CSIS offices in Toronto than they would have liked“Toronto police say they have arrested a man in connection with a bomb scare in the city’s downtown. Police used a stun gun to incapacitate the man they believe left his car and suitcases in front of the CSIS building, prompting a bomb scare …. one of the city’s main traffic arteries, was shut down for a second time during the height of the evening rush hour as police reopened their investigation into the incident. Police told CBC News that the man they arrested was the owner of the car involved in the earlier incident. The man apparently put up a struggle with police even after being stunned with a Taser and was taken to hospital for observation, said police spokesman Const. Tony Vella. During the evening there were three loud noises near Front Street. Police later explained they were controlled explosions, detonating a package the man was carrying when he was arrested. The earlier bomb scare ended quietly after police cleared an area outside the offices of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service after finding nothing untoward in two abandoned pieces of luggage and a car parked nearby ….”
  • Here’s what the head of NATO’s training effort in Afghanistan had to say in a recent paper on what Canada could do in Afghanistan (PDF):  “…. The Canadian military and civilian police forces have done much to support NTM-A (NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan) and the development of the ANSF (Afghan national security forces). The recent addition of 44 police trainers and 10 air mentor trainers to the NTM-A mission has been invaluable, as these specialties are particularly hard to fill.  However, to move from building the basic Afghan military and police forces to developing the key capabilities required for those forces to be self-sustaining requires, more of your trainers with specialized skills and experience are required. Police, air, and medical trainers are especially needed, and your nation has the capabilities to provide more air mentor teams in Kandahar, police trainers in Kandahar, trainers at the ANA medical facility in Kandahar, and logistics facilities across the country. Your forces are more broadly experienced than most other nations serving in the International Security Assistance Force, and such mature soldiers, with multiple tours serving in Afghanistan, would be extremely effective trainers for the ANSF ….” Sorry, General, but there’s a parliamentary motion out there that says we’re outta Kandahar, but thanks for the compliment.  More on the U.S. aching for Canada to stay in Kandahar here, here and here.
  • In case you missed it in yesterday’s e-mailed version, The military will ground Canada’s spy plane program after the Afghan combat mission ends this summer. The commander of the prop-driven CU-170 Herons, which operate out of Kandahar Airfield, said the Canadian Forces will disband his squadron once troops pull out of Kandahar. Maj. Dave Bolton, the new and final commander of Task Force Erebus, said his team will then go on to other jobs within the military. “There’s a lot of very young people that were involved with this program,” he said in an interview. “There’s probably going to be a hiatus of somewhere between two and five years ….”
  • “…. Bureaucrats working alongside the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan are baffled why civilian police officers and Tim Hortons employees at Kandahar Airfield are eligible for military medals but they aren’t. Public servants were eligible for the military’s General Service Medal when the mission began in 2002 and they worked under the authority of the Canadian Forces. But several months ago, bureaucrats were notified by Afghanistan Task Force officials they no longer qualified because they don’t work for the military. The change ruffled feathers earlier this month when Task Force Commander Brig-Gen. Dean Milner handed out medals to 14 civilian police officers at the Kandahar Airfield for their nine-month stint working with Afghan police. Bureaucrats say most police officers are paid by the Foreign Affairs Department and work for it on its projects. National Defence officials have since begun an examination into whom the civilian police reported to and whether they were given the wrong medal ….”
  • An interesting suggestion from a former Canadian general on how to improve Veterans Affairs Canada “…. The only way to change Veterans Affairs in favour of instead of against Veterans is to convert the place into a department filled with younger Veterans of all three services starting with the post of Deputy Minister–if the Prime Minister can’t find a Veteran in his caucus to be minister.” I have to disagree, General.  The people implementing it aren’t the problem – it’s the RULES that have to change.
  • Remember this woman, who ran a pro-Taliban/jihadi news page, who was kidnapped in Pakistan and reported dead?  It appears some journalists aren’t happy with the lack of attention paid to her (reported) plight“…. Giesbrecht never defined herself as such but she was, in a sense, a practitioner of immersion journalism—sometimes defined as reporting from an intensive personal perspective. As author/journalist Norah Vincent puts it in her book Voluntary Madness: “The whole point is that you are not objective.” As for her controversial website, friends say it was not propaganda, but rather a tool to gain the confidence of the people she wanted to interview. “If you put up a website that looks like another CNN wannabe,” says one close friend in Canada, Glen Cooper, “they’re not going to pay much attention to you.” Giesbrecht herself said of her website: “It is my hope that this will inspire others to Islam and to take a stand against this shameful war on ‘terrorism.’ I am not a ‘terrorist,’ a fanatic or mentally unbalanced. On the contrary, I am a level-headed, capable woman, a humanitarian and a contributing member of society.” ….” In my as-yet unposted comment, I raise the point that if she was “inspiring” people to “take a stand” and running pro-Taliban material to seek the group’s attention, 1)  this is a columnist, not a journalist, and 2)  be careful what you wish for.
  • Latest volley in the “the F-35 is great – no it’s not!” fight comes from a senior politician“The federal government is standing by its multi-billion dollar investment in the Joint Strike Fighter program, which has boosted the country’s economy and will create job opportunities in the Canadian aerospace industry for decades, Government House leader John Baird said Tuesday. Baird defended the government’s commitment to purchase 65 F-35s, insisting the deal will help the Canadian Forces while significantly contributing to the economy. “It’s the right thing to do and our government is committed to seeing this through,” Baird said of the planned purchase, which is estimated to be at least $14 billion, while touring MDS Aero Support Corporation, an Ottawa-based engineering organization involved with the development of fighter jet engines ….”
  • It seems I’m not the only person out there thinking this column on the woes and misery that will befall the U.S. military when it allows gays/lesbians to serve is a bit beyond its best-before date“…. The article actually tries to make the point that European countries have gays in the military but have underperformed in Afghanistan. Tell that to the Danes that have been fighting hard in the toughest parts of Afghanistan with few restrictions (few caveats) and paying a high price in casualties–highest per capita. Tell that to the Aussies who have been working hard in Uruzgan but/and have gays in their military. Same for the British ….” Another take“…. He cites some NATO countries lack of “resolve” to continue the fight in Afghanistan, as if all decisions related to the Afghanistan adventure somehow hinge upon the fighting ability of homosexual soldiers. In this narrow view of the world, Stephen Harper’s decision to end Canada’s “combat” role in Afghanistan must be because gay soldiers have inundated Defence Minister Lawrence Cannon’s office with pleas to come home, or to at least relocate behind the wire in Kabul. Likely, the truth is that the Conservatives received more letters from those upset with the long form census than from gay soldiers lacking the will to carry on Canada’s mission. ….”
  • A UN official says Canada was asked “pretty please” to keep its post-earthquake military presence in Haiti longer. “The Canadian government turned down a plea to extend its military relief effort in Haiti after last year’s earthquake, says a top United Nations official in Port-au-Prince. Canada was widely praised for rushing to provide emergency help, including clean water, security and medical care, following the devastating temblor last Jan. 12. Armed with heavy equipment, Canadian military engineers also cleared rubble and helped Haitians reopen their roads, particularly in the hard-hit areas around the cities of Leogane and Jacmel. But despite attempts by the UN and local authorities to persuade Ottawa to keep the engineers in Haiti beyond the end of Canada’s relief mandate, the military packed up and left. “I think there was a strong request that they stay on,” Nigel Fisher, the UN’s head of humanitarian aid in Haiti, told The Canadian Press in an interview from Port-au-Prince. “Many felt that they wished they had stayed because they were extremely effective.” ….” More from The Canadian Press here.  Meanwhile, this just in:  Canada finds $90 million for Haiti assistance – more on that from Postmedia News here.
  • Taliban Propaganda Watch Taliban page post asks, “Why isn’t the Peace Council calling for American forces to withdraw from Afghanistan?!?”

CF IN HAITI: Jacmel Airport Open

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The latest:

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Written by milnewsca

27 January 10 at 22:52

CF IN HAITI: Deployment Continues; Jamaican Troops Unhappy?

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A bit of the latest:

  • Defence Minister Peter MacKay says most of Canada’s contingent on the ground is now in and around Jacmel in southern Haiti.  He says the next team, tasked with setting up medical facilities in Léogâne, should be starting to arrive before end of day Monday.
  • A Trinidadian reporter, embedded with 150 Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) troops headed to Haiti to help out, says the JDF was underwhelmed by being a low priority for Canadian help to deploy:  “Those operations have been hampered by the decision of the Canadians to place their own needs and requirements entirely above those of the Caribbean’s.”  Most of the article points to a lack a sense of urgency on the part of CARICOM‘s (Caribbean Community) response to the quake.
  • An aviation magazine article speculates that the usefulness of Canada’s heavy airlift CC-177 Globemasters, “will undoubtedly provide a platform for advocates of a new wave of investments.”

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

CF IN HAITI: Current Priority Medical

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Some of the latest:

  • CTV.ca reports that the crush of aid traffic at Haiti’s Port Au Prince airport is delaying the repatriation of two Canadian Mounties killed in last week’s earthquake.
  • More details are being revealed (via a briefing by Defence Minister Peter MacKay) regarding the medical deployment out of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.  1 Field Hospital is sending “1 Operating room with two Surgical teams, 2 Resuscitation beds, 2 Critical Care beds,(and) 50 Intermediate and Minimal Care beds (and) more than 100 CF members.”
  • Following on that, according to CTV.ca, the head of Canada’s naval task force in the area, Captain Art McDonald, says the CF’s main focus right now is providing medical assistance.  In addition to the 1 Field Hospital team headed to Leogane, McDonald is quoted saying Canada’s DART staff “opened up the first hospital in (Jacmel), and now that hospital has been populated by NGOs (non-governmental organizations).”

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

CF IN HAITI: Jacmel Airport Soon Good to Go; Fallen Mounties Coming Home

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Some of the latest:

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

CF IN HAITI: First Sailors In, Docs Complain about Unloading Priorities

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Some of the latest:

A bit of a map to help orient you is available here.

  1. “Water related materials” (you can live longer without food than you can without water, and bad water makes more people sick)
  2. “Logistics Enablers” (stuff that helps get blocked roads open and aid into areas once routes are opened)
  3. Food materials (and)
  4. Medical supplies

Something else to remember:  these priorities change as the operation goes on, according to the World Food Program.

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

CF IN HAITI: Security a Growing Concern, Base of Operations Chosen?

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Some of the latest:

  • CBC News (via Twitter here and here and CBC.ca here) reports Canadian Forces ships are near Haiti, preparing to start deploying sailors and other experts to “clear roads of debris so that aid convoys can get in, offer first aid if they can, and look for Canadians and the bodies of Canadians so they can be returned home.”  CBC also says the focus of the CF’s work may be the town of Jacmel, a port community of approximately 30,000 on Haiti’s southern coast reportedly “(very) hard hit but getting less help to this point” (weather information available here, and tide information here).  It’s also the hometown of Canada’s Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
  • The Canadian Press reports that security is increasingly a problem that will be dealt with by Canadian Forces in Haiti:  “…. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says security has been fingered as one of the key challenges facing relief and reconstruction efforts as aid slowly ramps up and the death toll continues to mount. “Although the concern over an increase in civilian violence is shared by several countries involved, it will be resolved by our capacity to deliver aid and our capacity to stabilize Haiti,” Cannon said Monday….”

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

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