Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – January 12, 2013

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  • More Mali (1)  French troops are in (with only Russian media reports saying Germany may be as well)
  • More Mali (2)  Canada considering training neighbouring troops“The Canadian government is in the early stages of providing military training to Niger, a country struggling to cope with the spreading Islamic extremism afflicting neighbouring Mali and the region.  This comes as the conflict in Mali escalates. Alarmed by the rapidly growing power of Islamist extremist fighters, France has sent combat forces into the African country to reinforce the crumbling military resistance to the rebel advance ….” – more of the latest of whazzup in Niger here (Google News) and here (EC news aggregator)
  • One man’s “denial” is another’s “positive messaging”, I suppose  “The latest defence news is that the Canadian Forces’ (CF) transport planes, Hercules C-130Js, may have some electronic components that are Chinese knockoffs. Thus far, it appears the CF has yet to try to replace these components. But the more  important part of this news story is the fact that the CF and the Department of National Defence (DND) repeatedly denied that  there were problems, even though the U.S. version of the plane was clearly riddled with counterfeit electronics. The denials here are part of a larger pattern: The CF and DND regularly deny that anything is awry about programs and operations, even though such denials can often be easily investigated, and even though the denials are often actually more problematic than the  original problem ….”
  • The Conservative government appears to have beaten a retreat over its plan to bill municipalities and provinces for help provided by the military in natural disasters and emergencies such as floods and wildfires.  The reversal will be welcome news to municipalities and provinces who worried about being able to cover the often significant costs associated with turning to the Canadian Forces for help in times of need.  Postmedia News broke the story earlier this week that the Defence Department quietly decided last year to begin invoicing provinces, municipalities and other government departments in most cases where the military’s assistance is required.  Officials with the Defence Department say it has always had the authority to recoup costs incurred when it provides such assistance, but for the past 15 years it has waived that authority as a matter of course. In the event of a disaster or emergency, the department will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to levy charges, they add.  But on Friday, a spokeswoman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay indicated the government has reversed course.  “It is not the federal government’s intention to bill provinces or municipalities for Armed Forces assistance during natural emergencies,” Paloma Aguilar said in an email.  Rather, she indicated National Defence will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to approach the federal Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness — through which most requests for assistance flow — to recoup its costs.  Exactly where Public Safety will find the money to compensate National Defence, however, remains unclear as it is also facing budget cuts ….” – Defence Minister MacKay’s statement on this one here.
  • Newest CDS’ overview of what he wants to do
  • Newest RCAF boss’ overview of what he wants to do
  • How green and navy blue work together aboard HMCS Regina
  • The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, congratulates Acting Sub-Lieutenant Nicole Shingoose, from the Plains Cree Moosomin Reserve in Saskatchewan, for receiving her Officer Commission in the Canadian Armed Forces on January 10, 2013. In May, Acting Sub-Lieutenant Shingoose will be the first graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada to have begun her studies via the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year program ….” – more on this from earlier this week here.
  • Afghanistan  “Listen to the CBC Recording of “Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation” ….”
  • RCAF Info-machine’s account of a December 2012 rescue near the coast of Hudson Bay  “Two men who got lost in a surprise blizzard last month in northern Ontario were found alive after a complex search and rescue mission that involved Canadian Rangers, two Royal Canadian Air Force planes, a Wasaya Airways passenger aircraft, and members of the community’s search and rescue team and community volunteers.  “I think it was an excellent result,” said Sergeant Jamie Stirling, provincial search and rescue coordinator for the Ontario Provincial Police. “They brought two persons back to the community who would no doubt have perished if they had not embarked on the search and rescue mission to find them.”  The missing men, Mike Koostachin and Virgil Wesley, who are both experienced hunters, praised the persistent efforts of everyone involved in the extensive efforts to find them ….”
  • It apparently sucks to be an American-born Al-Shabab jihadist from Toronto  “Since becoming the most prominent foreign fighter in the Somali armed Islamist group Al-Shabab, former Toronto pizza deliveryman Omar Hammami has turned into a remarkably whiny jihadist.  Over the past week, Hammami has issued long lists of complaints about the “top dogs” of Al-Shabab, accusing them of behaving “like Hitler,” confiscating his car and keeping all the best “war booty” for themselves.  He blasted Al-Shabab for its strategic blunders and for only striving to take over Somalia rather than to impose radical Islam on the world through a global jihad. “You must come to know some of the harsh realities,” he wrote.  The Alabama-born 28-year-old left Toronto in 2005 and made his way through Cairo to join the Somali jihad. “We are all Osama,” he declared in one of his many self-aggrandizing online videos. But his holy war now appears to be over.  His recent statements claim Al-Shabab has sidelined him, tried to have him killed and purged other foreign volunteers who had travelled to the long-suffering country to fight. He said Al-Shabab is afraid he will form a splinter group ….”
  • Media track down mysterious former CSIS watchdog in Nassau with cancer

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12 January 13 at 9:15

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