- “Officials at the Defence Department turned over boxes and filing cabinets Monday looking for records of payments to a warlord who signed on to help defend a Canadian base in Afghanistan. Documents tabled in Parliament last week show Haji Toorjan received $2.5 million to provide an additional layer of defence around the Kandahar provincial reconstruction base that delivered aid and development. Those records show payments started in 2008, but access-to-information documents and published reports suggest Toorjan’s 40-man militia was on the payroll in 2007 and perhaps earlier. In the House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon defended the use of hired guns as a necessary practice. “We employ these companies to protect our personnel, as well our facilities,” he said ….” Here’s what was said in the House of Commons yesterday on this one.
- Elsewhere in the House of Commons, Bloc Quebecois member asks why new infrastructure went to Gagetown instead of Bagotville.
- No, the time of the main battle tank is NOT quite over yet (via Army.ca – h/t to Mark Collins for this one).
- Here’s the latest list of announced senior-level promotions in the Canadian Forces.
- Here’s what the new promotions mean: “With the Canadian Forces preparing to leave southern Afghanistan for the relative stability of Kabul, top Canadian military brass are starting to take top spots in the NATO-led training mission. Brig.-Gen. Michael Day was appointed Monday the deputy commanding army general, effectively putting him in charge of the army training mission. Brig.-Gen. Kelly Woiden is joining him as the assistant commanding general for Afghan national army development, replacing fellow Canadian Brig.-Gen. Dave Neasmith. The Canadian appointments Monday pave the way for the Canadian Forces’ involvement in the training mission, to begin in July, where around 950 Canadian Forces members will be training the Afghan army until 2014 ….”
- Here’s what ELSE the promotions mean: “The military has named a new commander for its elite special operations unit, which includes the JTF2 counterterrorist force. The move, one of 15 appointments announced Monday by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, comes while the Canadian Forces is conducting a probe of complaints that the unit’s senior leaders may have encouraged the commission of war crimes in Afghanistan. Brig.-Gen. Michael Day, head of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, is heading to Afghanistan where he will work at the Kabul headquarters of the NATO force responsible for training the Afghan army and police …. Brig.-Gen. Dennis Thompson, who is currently the chief of the army’s land operations and formerly commanded Canadian troops in Afghanistan, will assume command of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). A spokesman for the special forces said Thompson is expected to take over in April ….”
- How Canadian troops are helping the U.S. space program.
- What’s Canada Buying? Translation cards troops can point at when they don’t know the language of the locals they’re dealing with.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, including one claiming to have killed 14 Americans.
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