- Who’s taking part in Operation Nanook this year (1)? “Three Canadian navy ships and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter are being outfitted in St. John’s for an extended mission to the Arctic. The Canadian Forces says the frigate HMCS St. John’s will be joined by the coastal defence vessels HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside, as well as the American coast guard cutter USCGC Willow ….”
- Who’s taking part in Operation Nanook this year (2)? “Frostbite, trench foot, snow blindness and wild animal attacks aren’t things Peter McKenna usually has to worry about while he’s at work. But they are on the list of things the UPEI professor might encounter when he heads to the Arctic as an observer in the Operation Nanook 11 sovereignty exercise. McKenna said before he could go on the trip, he had to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks involved, which included falling through ice, hypothermia, dehydration and geographic disorientation. “I’m mildly concerned but I think that I’m in capable hands when it comes to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence,” he said ….”
- Here here. “…. The Department of National Defence currently offers programs for serving members to address operational stress, addictions, mental health and wellness. There are also 32 Military Family Resource Centres across Canada and more in other countries. The centres run a full range of services on youth, parenting, wellness, deployment, and family separation and reunion. Like all programs, they need independent evaluations of their effectiveness. No doubt, they could work better and reach more people. They also could better target participants by working more closely with veteran’s organizations. Nonetheless, they are essential tools of support for military families — especially for the thousands of spouses who are fighting for their partners, and for us, on the new front line of troop reintegration. (M)inister Mackay, General Natynczyk: Don’t touch the funding of these programs.“
- Afghanistan (1a) Survey says…. “As QMI Agency followed the last Canadian combat troops out of Afghanistan last month, there was one question that seemed to get under the thick skin of even the toughest soldier. In fact, after repeatedly being asked by media in the combat zone, it became a catch phrase among some combatants — tossed about with shrugs and often rolled eyes. The question wondered: “Was it worth it?” Now, in the settling dust of Canada’s combat exit from Afghanistan — our soldiers now remain in logistical and training missions only — an exclusive Sun Media national poll has found almost three in five Canadians doubt whether the sacrifice asked of our country was worthwhile. Only 30% of respondents to the Leger Marketing survey felt it was. As well, 58% of Canadians thought the mission could not be categorized as fully accomplished after we pulled out last month ….” More poll details here (PDF).
- Afghanistan (1b) “…. Despite the costs and the human loss, Canada’s role in Afghanistan, its combat assignment now over, has at least given the people of that tortured country a chance at a better life. What the Afghan people do with that opportunity is now up to them. It goes without question, however, that our soldiers did their uniform proud and, while only 30% of Canadians may ultimately see the cause as worthwhile, it will never negate the fact that no soldier has ever been more supported at home, despite the war’s unpopularity ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Bringing home the signs, flags, letters and other paraphenalia.
- Afghanistan (3) Guess where the last Canadian flag that flew over Kandahar’s Provincial Reconstruction Team base Camp Nathan Smigh has ended up?
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) “Remember the Used Subs” editorial: “…. As they go about their work, each member of the bureaucracy in charge of military procurement would do well to keep a photo of Canada’s woebegone subs close at hand, as a caution against false economies. In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme Allied commander in the Second World War: “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.” “
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Remember earlier this year when the CF research arm said it was hiring someone to do taser weapon research (second item)? There’s a bit more time to offer an alternative the companies proposed.
- F-35 Tug o’ War: Troubles in the U.S. “All 20 F-35 Lightning IIs have been grounded following a failure of the aircraft’s integrated power package (IPP). The incident took place at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., during a ground maintenance run of aircraft AF-4, the fourth conventional takeoff and landing version of the triservice Joint Strike Fighter. Following the failure of the IPP — which combines the functions performed by an auxiliary power unit, emergency power system and environmental controls — the crew shut down the aircraft as per standard operating procedures, according to a press release by the JSF program office. There were no injuries ….”
- Some Canadian government systems are included in a report of systems found to be attacked or hacked. “Security experts have discovered an unprecedented series of cyber attacks on the networks of 72 organizations globally, including the United Nations, governments and corporations, over a five-year period. Security company McAfee, which uncovered the intrusions, said it believed there was one “state actor” behind the attacks but declined to name it, though several other security experts said the evidence points to China. The long list of victims in the extended campaign include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and an array of companies, from defense contractors to high-tech enterprises ….” More from the McAfee blog here, and a Q&A here.
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (1) Number six nabbed, Amnesty International wants war crime trials here.
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (2) “It’s not up to Canada to prosecute people suspected of crimes against humanity, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday. The federal government has been publicly stepping up deportations of people found inadmissible to Canada because of a suspicion they may have participated in war crimes. But Toews said it’s not realistic for Canada to investigate, prosecute and imprison people who commit crimes against humanity in other countries. “Canada is not the UN. It’s not our responsibility to make sure each one of these faces justice in their own countries,” he (said) …. “What we are doing with [the Canada Border Services Agency] is ensuring that Canadian law is obeyed ….”
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (3) The courts say you shouldn’t hear what group one of the nabbed from Pakistan is allegedly associated with.
- A bit of perspective on the Winnipeg Jets logo: “…. drawing political conclusions from a sports logo — racial issues aside — can point you down a long and winding road to insanity. Where does it end? Can’t cheer for the Ottawa Senators, as it conflicts with views on Canada’s unelected Senate. Or the Edmonton Oilers, as it might imply you support the pillaging of our natural resources. Or the L.A. Kings, since that would mean acceptance of any atrocities committed throughout history under monarchist rule. Or the Carolina Hurricanes, because it would be insensitive to those who have suffered at the hands of natural disaster. Forget the Calgary Flames, as too many people perish in house fires and to wear that sweater would be disrespectful. Or the Minnesota Wild. Nothing against the outdoors, they’re just ugly f*%kin’ sweaters.”
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