News Highlights – 10 Jan 11

  • More on Canada’s troops chipping away at a problem area in Afghanistan. “It has long been Canada’s problem child in Kandahar. The Panjwaii district has vexed the military brain trust for years. It is the cradle of the Taliban movement, the insurgency’s spiritual heartland. Many Taliban fighters hail from the district’s dominant Noorzai tribe, so the sympathies of villagers do not always lie with foreign forces. It is one of the last three districts of Kandahar still under Canada’s watch. The other districts, Dand and Daman, are relatively stable by comparison — ‘relatively’ being the operative word. So with seven months left on Canada’s combat clock, time is running out to pacify the Panjwaii. Canadian troops are in the midst of a massive effort to do just that ….”
  • More, via the CF, on the latest road-building work by Canadian and Afghan engineers. “An important achievement of previous rotations was the construction of new roads across Kandahar Province. Today, we continue that initiative with the development of a land link between the eastern portion of Panjwa’i District and its western point, the Horn of Panjwa’i. Our mandate is to build a safe road that is feasible to use all year round ….”
  • Taliban Propaganda WatchTaliban claims to have destroyed Canadian “tank” in Spin Boldak area.
  • Lotsa work, money to get Canada’s military forces and facilities outta Dodge. “It will cost “lots of hundreds of millions of dollars” to move Canada’s nearly 3,000 soldiers, all their gear and equipment and nearly a decade’s worth of supportive infrastructure out of Kandahar province this year, says the man in charge of preparing for the mammoth undertaking.  “It’s like moving a very large village or small town, lock, stock and barrel,” said Lt.-Col. Steve Moritsugu, who is leader of the mission transition and liaison team for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.  “We have to clean, repair and pack everything up and move it halfway around the world,” he said.  A more precise price tag isn’t available at this stage. Canada hasn’t undertaken such a large-scale military pullout in nearly 60 years. The 1st battalion Royal 22e Regiment battle group has to be out of the fight by July, and most traces of Canada’s military presence in Kandahar must disappear by the end of the year ….”
  • 16 Dec 10,  Let’s try that again with the pre-qualification for the Close Combat Vehicle (CCV), shall we? 10 Jan 11, Ottawa Citizen: “The multi-billion dollar plan to buy new armoured vehicles for the Canadian Forces has run into yet more problems, with the government this time going back to industry to look for more companies interested in bidding ….”
  • The Halifax Regional Municipality is going to consider allowing the naming of a new road in honour of the fallen. “The Halifax region could one day have a municipal road named to honour Canada’s fallen military personnel, a city staff report says. In November, a petition was filed with regional council asking it “to name a new collector type road in (metro) Heroes Avenue (or) Street, or Highway of Heroes,” the report says. The report, attached to council’s agenda for their meeting Tuesday, says city hall staff are reviewing the request in accordance with municipal policy. “If the name request meets the criteria laid out in (policy), staff will recommend that . . . council approve Heroes Avenue as a commemorative name,” the report says. “Staff would then begin the process of finding an appropriate street to apply the name.” …. “ Here’s the city staff report (PDF)  mentioned above.

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