MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – January 16, 2013
- More Mali (1a) Canada to Mali: get some elections held there, folks! – more here.
- More Mali (1b) Meanwhile, “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will play host to the ambassadors of France, Mali and West Africa’s economic bloc for talks in Ottawa (today) on the embattled region, The Canadian Press has learned. Mr. Baird called the high-level meeting, set for Foreign Affairs headquarters, one day after dispatching Canada’s ambassador to Mali to tell the country’s military rulers to get on with the work of restoring democracy following their coup there last March ….”
- More Mali (2a) Former Canadian diplomat’s take “…. In the circumstances, one C-17 for a week and some trainers in Niger is admirably cautious on the government’s part, but the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is, can it really stop there?”
- More Mali (2b) Academic on “If Canada sends just one non-combat plane to provide logistical support outside of the fighting areas in Mali, is it at war?”
- More Mali (2c) Another academic’s take “….If the French action is indeed short-lived and limited, and if it succeeds in halting the Islamist insurgency in the north (thereby buying time for the planned combination of a security and political strategy to win back Tuareg support), then it will no doubt be judged a success. One can argue convincingly that there was no reasonable alternative but for France to act, and for others to support that decision. That said, the case remains that the record to date of the West’s efforts to eliminate Islamist insurgency through military means is not promising.”
- More Mali (2d) Ottawa Citizen editorial “…. The Malian conflict is likely to escalate if history is any guide. If Canada will have no involvement aside from lending the transport plane, the government must be perfectly clear about that. If there is the possibility of some role that could expand, officials must make that clear and, above all, outline exactly what that means and, if we do go in any capacity, how we plan to get out.”
- More Mali (2e) Globe & Mail editorial “…. When Canadian troops or assets are to be deployed in conflict zones, Ottawa should consult the parliamentary opposition and brief all Canadians about its involvement. Abetting an aggression is not a matter that should be taken lightly, and the government should reflect on how its decision to intervene in Mali could have been more transparent and consultative. Only after some confusion and many questions did Prime Minister Stephen Harper eventually publicly define Canada’s role, and say Canadians would be kept away from the fighting ….”
- More Mali (2f) Toronto Star editorial “…. Mali needs to return to democratic, constitutional rule as soon as possible. There is no substitute for free and fair elections. The people of Mali shouldn’t have to suffer a junta’s jackboot, any more than a jihadist’s brutality.”
- More Mali (2g) Yahoo blog “…. the question coming out of this week’s development is whether that C-17 should be the limit of Canada’s commitment or just the beginning.”
- More Mali (2h) Rabble.ca commentator’s take “…. So, what’s the big deal? It’s just going to be one C-17 transport plane to assist the French forces leading the attack. The plane will be made available for a week, and then Canada’s role will be reviewed. Nothing to see here folks, please move along… Except this is a big deal. Big interventions start with small deployments — with “advisors,” with “non-combat” assistance, or with “training forces” etc. Besides, anytime Canada joins a new military intervention abroad it should be the subject of serious and sustained debate ….”
- More Mali (3a) France’s (optimistic?) goals going in, from President Francois Hollande “…. “We have one goal. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory,” Hollande told a news conference ….” Let’s see how all that goes, shall we?
- More Mali (3b) More on whazzup in Mali here (Google News), here (EMM Explorer) and here (France’s defence ministry’s latest update in French)
- Afghanistan Joshua Baker, 1985-2010, R.I.P. “A military judge has reserved sentencing for a Calgary reservist convicted in a deadly training accident in Afghanistan until Feb. 20. The prosecution wants Maj. Darryl Watts to either be demoted or dismissed from the military and to spend 18 months in jail. “Due to the gravity of the offence and the nature of the consequences that flowed from the conduct our position was that incarceration was mandatory to send a message to the remainder of the Canadian Forces,” said prosecutor Maj. Dylan Kerr. Kerr says Watts has shown no remorse and hasn’t accepted responsibility for his role in the accident north of Kandahar city. “There has been no evidence that Maj. Watts has accepted his responsibility for the part he played, and we’re asking the court to impose a sentence that will send a message to Maj. Watts as well that it’s time for him to accept responsibility for his conduct in the act,” Kerr said. Defence lawyer Balfour Der is suggesting his client be reprimanded. “Maj. Watts by my account was found guilty, but he’s as marginal as it comes to being found guilty,” Der said. “Jail would likely end his career as a firefighter…it would end his career as a military officer, it would even stop him from volunteering at schools, places like that where he does a lot of good work for the community, so jail would just be a terrible sentencing.” ….” – more here
- From the Veterans Ombudsman’s 2011-12 annual report “Those who sustain similar illnesses or injuries while serving their country should have access to the same benefits, regardless of the nature of their service and where and when they served.” Here here!
- “Nearly 100 new recruits of the Canadian Forces Reserves will take part in a public enrollment ceremony at the Côte-des-Neiges Armoury on the 19th of January 2013. For this occasion, parents, families, and the public are invited to attend the ceremony and meet the recruiters from Montreal Area units who will be on site for this event. The ceremony will take place at 10 AM at the Côte-des-Neiges Armoury, 4185 Chemin Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal, QC ….”
- Way Up North “The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, will travel to Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway from January 14 to 22, 2013, in advance of Canada’s two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Minister Aglukkaq will participate in bilateral meetings in each country and in Norway will speak at a conference on the Arctic ….”