Archive for the ‘Taliban propaganda’ Category
Given the apparent demand, here’s what the Taliban is saying on its “Voice of Jihad” web pageabout the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap – usual caveats about clicking on the bad guy’s links, etc.
“al-Imārah Studio presents a new video message from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Exchange of Prisoners Between the Islamic Emirate and U.S. Government” “ (links to analyst blog jihadology.com)
“Statement of the Islamic Emirate about the release of five heads from ‘Guantanamo Jail’ “ (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Sunday, 01 June 2014 07:34
We heartily congratulate the whole nation, Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate, particularly the kith and kin of the released ones that five heads of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan namely Mulla Muhammad Fazal Akhund, Mulla Noorulla Noori, Mulla Khairulla Khairkhwa, Mulla Abdul Haq Waseeq and Moulavi Muhammad Nabi who had been incarcerated for the last thirteen years in ‘Guantanamo Jail’ are released due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty and the sacrifices of the heroic and courageous Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate.
These five heads were released in the result of an indirect negotiation between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the United States mediated by Qatari government. They will remain with their families inside Qatar and will lead a normal life.
To get the preceding five heads released, it is worth mentioning that the Islamic Emirate handed over the American soldier to the US who was captive with us approximately for the last five years.
These five heads of the Islamic Emirate were handed over on Saturday at 07:00 pm Afghanistan standard time to the delegation of Qatar who has been waiting there in ‘Guantanamo Bay’ for the previous three days. This delegation, including five heads of the Islamic Emirate, left Guantanamo at 10:00 pm and will arrive in Qatar today Sunday. They will be received and welcomed by the Political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate inside Qatar and members of the leading council of the Islamic Emirate. Similarly, the American prisoner ‘Bergdahl’ was handed over in the suburbs of ‘Khost’ province to the other side on Saturday at 07:00 pm Afghanistan standard time.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been taking all possible measures since long to get all the Afghan prisoners released whether they are incarcerated inside the country or outside and to let them enjoy a free and peaceful life.
In the future too, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is determined to get all the Mujahidin prisoners released as soon as possible. In this regard, we expect all the legal and human rights societies particularly the United Nations to share and accelerate their efforts with Afghan people and the Islamic Emirate on the basis of human sympathy so that all the incarcerated people are freed and their basic legal and human rights are safeguarded and they could lead an independent and peaceful life of their own accord.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
“Felicitation message of esteemed Amir-ul-Momineen (May Allah safeguard him) regarding the release of Jihadi heads from ‘Guantanamo Jail’ “ (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Monday, 02 June 2014 08:31
I would like to congratulate from the core of my heart the whole Afghan nation, the devoted Mujahidin and the kith and kin of the prisoners on the auspicious occasion of this great achievement of the release of five distinguished Mujahidin heads from the ‘Guantanamo Jail’.
All praise is to Allah Almighty! Due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty, the enormous sacrifices of courageous Mujahidin and the statesmanship of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate in Qatar, five prominent heads of the Islamic Emirate are soundly released from the ‘Guantanamo Jail’.
This huge and vivid triumph requires from all Mujahidin to offer thanks to the Benevolent Creator who accepted the sincere sacrifices of our Mujahid nation and managed the release of these five renowned Mujahidin from the enemy’s clutch.
The efforts and endeavors of all Mujahidin, leading council of the Islamic Emirate, the detainers and keepers of the American prisoner ‘Bergdahl’ and generally the whole nation which played a significant role in this colossal victory are appreciated and I beg even deeper divine help, guidance and favorable turn of circumstances for all of them.
I would like to thank his highness ‘Shaikh Tameem Bin Hamd Al-Thani’ the Amir of Qatar, for his sincere and friendly efforts and mediation in the release of these five prominent Mujahidin heads. I pray to Allah Almighty to reward him reciprocally in this world and in the world hereafter.
May Allah Almighty get, just like these five heads, all those oppressed prisoners released who are incarcerated in the path of liberating their country and serving their creed.
This huge accomplishment brings the glad tidings of liberation of the whole country and reassures us that our aspirations are on the verge of fulfillment, Insha-Allah.
And it is never hard for Allah Almighty.
Servant of Islam, Mulla Mohammad Omar Mujahid
03/07/1435 A.H. (Lunar)
11/03/1393 A.H. (Solar) 01/06/2014 A.D.
“The release of prominent heads brings the glad tidings of the absolute freedom of our homeland!” (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 09:06
Five significant and distinguished heads of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were swapped for a an American prisoner, Bowe Bargdahl, on 31st May 2014 and just one day later, on 1st June 2014, at 03:00 pm Afghanistan standard time, these renowned heads of the Islamic Emirate arrived at ‘Doha’ the capital of Qatar where they were warmly received by the head of Political Bureau and its members. Verily it is a huge achievement.
It was an impressive and remarkable occasion when the officials of the Islamic Emirate were welcoming their significant and commendable heads namely Mulla Mohammad Fazil (commander in-chief of the Islamic Emirate government), Mulla Noorulla Noori (in-charge of northern zone and governor of Balkh province), Mulla Khairulla Khairkhuwa (interior minister then in-charge of south-western zone and governor of Herat province), Mulla Abdul Haq Waseeq (deputy director general of Intelligence department) and Mulla Mohammad Nabi Omari (commander of frontiers’ brigade) having been outside their nearest and dearest and beloved country for a prolonged period of thirteen years. They were bright to sight and heart’s delight.
Verily it was a remarkable occasion of delight which conveyed the glad tidings of the absolute freedom of Afghanistan. It was a tangible outcome of the sincere sacrifices of Martyrs and Mujahidin which were honestly rendered in the path of Allah Almighty and in the service of Islam. It was an explicit favor and benevolence of Allah Almighty; it was a great victory for Mujahidin who sacrificed their lives for making it feasible; it was the logical outcome of guidance of the leadership of Islamic Emirate and the endeavors of its Political Bureau inside Qatar.
Verily, by the grace of Allah Almighty, it has been a historical glory that they have preserved their patience, faithfulness and determination. With the support of Allah Almighty, peace stability and an Islamic government will be restored inside Afghanistan in the near future in which the masses will be served in all walks of their lives i.e. socially, economically and educationally.
The felicitation message of the esteemed Amir-ul-Mominin (may Allah safeguard him) contains explicitly allusion to the success of this Jihadi caravan. It seems that his Excellency is fully confident that the issues and sufferings of the oppressed people of Afghanistan will be resolved in the near future. A part of his message says that this significant achievement gives us the glad tidings of liberation of the whole country. It encourages us that, Insha-Allah, (God willing) the aspirations of the Mujahid people of Afghanistan will be fulfilled very soon. And it is never hard for Allah Almighty!!!
- “9 Shilo soldiers injured after military trucks collide”
- Congrats to Canadian Press, Postmedia News for sharing the document being written about “The cost of six years of military commemorations surrounding Canada’s 150th birthday is to come out of existing Canadian Forces operational budgets. Almost 300 pages of documents obtained by the Liberal party under the Access to Information Act detail something called “Operation Distinction” — a campaign mandated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that will include dozens of events through to the year 2020. “This series of commemoration events will have significant resource implications for DND organizations and CF units,” says a 10-page draft communications plan prepared by National Defence ….”
- “On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, will present the new Bomber Command Bar to a Canadian Veteran (this afternoon) ….”
- Afghanistan (1) From the CF Info-machine “As the flag lowers in Kabul after a 12 year presence in Afghanistan, the last round of troops deployed on Operation ATTENTION are coming home. “I am proud to be the last Canadian commanding our troops in Afghanistan as we get ready to bring the troops home. It has been an honour and a privilege and I have been extremely proud to be leading our great Canadians,” said Major General Dean Milner, the commander of the Canadian Task Force known as the Canadian Contribution to NATO’s Training Mission in Afghanistan ….”
- Afghanistan (2) From an American military blogger “Our Brothers in Arms are done”
- Afghanistan (3) “An Ex-CIDA Officer’s Reflections on Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward”
- Afghanistan (4) ceasefire.ca’s take “…. it would be a mistake for the government to assume that the public’s support for the troops equals a willingness to engage in more combat, or pay for terribly expensive stealth aircraft or warships. On the contrary – Canadians are war-weary, and now realize that there are limits to what can be accomplished through military power. Once politicians send our forces to war, it is very difficult to get them out again. Canadians have not embraced the “warrior nation” role that many had hoped they would, and still want our forces to support peacekeeping ….”
- Afghanistan (5) From the Taliban’s Info-machine “A round of goodbye messages are following the last Canadian troops out the door in Afghanistan and some of them are rather nasty. The Taliban’s information arm issued a statement Thursday to followers in Kandahar congratulating its fighters in the rural districts of Panjwaii, Zharey, Dand, Maiwand and Shah Wali Kot claiming that Canada has been defeated and has now fled the country. “Your sacrifices have brought us freedom. The beacons of your blood have lit the way to independence. Celebrate the victory and freedom from the Canadians,” said the statement, written in Pashtu, but translated for The Canadian Press ….”
- Afghanistan (6) Commentary “How the West made a hash of the Afghan war – With Canada, NATO and maybe even the U.S. pulling out, what next for Afghanistan?”
- ” ‘Systemic’ racism in Canadian Forces needs inquiry, veterans say”
- Opposers gotta oppose ” ‘Mother Canada’ is the dystopian war monument we deserve”
- Analysis “Canada First Defence Strategy: Beyond its “best before” date”
- Q&A Analysis “The Canadian Armed Forces are in the process of refreshing the Canada First Defence Strategy. As they rebalance government ambition with near-term budgets, what are the areas of greatest risk they need to manage? ….”
- From the Info-machine “While we may be rivals on the Olympic hockey rink, Canada and the United States have a lot of common interests and challenges when it comes to the defence of North America. Working together and sharing information really just makes sense ….”
- “More bureaucrats, departmental lawyers facing life-long gag order” – more – more
This from Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada:
“Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement following a deadly terrorist attack on a restaurant in Kabul which has claimed the lives of many, and left many more injured. At this point, we can confirm that two Canadian citizens have died in the attack.
“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeted, cowardly terrorist attack today on a restaurant in Kabul.
“On behalf of all Canadians, we extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured in this horrible and senseless act of terror.
“Acts of brutal terror cannot be allowed to go unpunished. Those who perpetrated this act of violence and those who support the Taliban, who have claimed responsibility for the attack, must be held accountable.
“This attack only enhances our resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms. Canada is committed to the people of Afghanistan and to those who believe Afghanistan can one day see peace, security and prosperity.”
Due to privacy concerns, and out of respect for the families of those Canadians killed in today’s attack, further information will not be made available.”
This, from The Canadian Press:
“Two Canadians were among 16 people who died in a brutal suicide attack on Friday at a restaurant in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s office confirmed. There was no further information about the two Canadian victims. Baird’s office said it could not release further information due to privacy concerns.
Canada is winding up a military training mission in Afghanistan, but sources in the Department of National Defence said that no uniformed personnel were among the casualties.
The restaurant is located close to Canada’s embassy in Kabul and is a popular spot for Canadians living and visiting the capital.
Afghan officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside La Taverna du Liban, which was filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans, while two gunmen snuck in through the back door and opened fire.
The Taliban claimed responsibility within an hour of the attack ….”
“The coordinated group martyrdom attack which struck the restaurant ‘Taverna du Liban’ of foreign invaders at 07:30 pm last night lasted till 09:30 pm local time in which the invaders suffered heavy losses, according to officials.
The target of the attack was a restaurant frequented by high ranking foreigners located on 14th street of Wazir Akbar Khan area in Kabul city where the invaders used to dine with booze and liquor in the plenty.
The successful operation was carried out very professionally by 3 heroic martyrdom seekers of Islamic Emirate armed with heavy and light weapons as well as explosives vests.
The attack was in retaliation to the massacre carried out by foreign invaders 2 days earlier in Parwan province’s Siyah Gerd district where the enemy airstrikes destroyed up to 10 homes, razed several orchards as well as killing and wounding up to 30 innocent civilians mostly defenseless women and children.
Reliable information received up to this point indicate that the successful revenge operation resulted in 29 high ranking foreign invaders and 8 hireling Afghans killed as well as tens of others wounded.
The inconsistent and contradictory reports handed out by the security forces of the stooge Kabul regime regarding the attack in itself show the precision and heavy toll inflicted by the powerful operation.
The fighting finally came to an end two hours later when the last Mujahid embraced martyrdom after delivering a heavy admonitory blow to the enemy which they shall never forget ….”
More, as it comes out.
- Afghanistan (1) Mark Collins on “ISAF’s (and the CF’s) Final Act”
- Afghanistan (2) Next deployment, Afghans taking over their own defence only rates an answer in the House of Commons by the Associate Minister of Defence
- Syria Canada gives U.S. Senator John McCain an honourary degree while McCain calls for coalition of countries to enforce no-fly zone over Syria – more here
- “A handful of Canadian troops are about to take part in peacekeeping operations in Haiti under the command of Brazilian forces. According to internal defence department documents, the deployment of an infantry platoon was approved by the Harper government in October 2012. Three-dozen soldiers arrived in Brazil last April to be embedded and train with that country’s 44th Motorized Infantry Battalion. The partnership and the mission will be formally announced on Wednesday, one day before boots hit the ground. The deployment is expected to run six months ….”
- Pentagon Info-machine pix of HMCS Nanaimo taking part in Dawn Blitz 2013
- Taliban agree to talk, set up office in Qatar – here’s their official statement (links to non-terrorist site)
- Got operational stress injury? There’s now a Canadian app for that.
- Way Up North (1) Canadian disarmament academic commentary “…. There is no denying that there is currently a build-up of conventional military capacity within the region,3 and it is not yet definitively clear whether it will turn out to be a competitive build-up that undermines the growing expectation that change will be peaceful, or whether it will instead facilitate increased security cooperation and build capacity for more effective domestic and cross border support to civil authorities in search and rescue, and in monitoring regional activity and ensuring compliance with international regulations. For current conventional military developments and deployments in the Arctic that remains an open question, but what about ballistic missile defence (BMD)? ….”
- Way Up North (2) “People in the western Nunavut community of Cambridge Bay got a sneak peek this week at what the Canadian High Arctic Research Station will look like: a complex of buildings designed to make the most of its location and traditional knowledge and science. The good news: CHARS is still on target to open in July 2017, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Canadian federation. But, during updates from the station’s architects and representatives from Aboriginal Affairs and Development Canada, it became clear again that the CHARS isn’t just about building designs or research projects for people who live in Cambridge Bay ….”
- From one of the usual suspect anti-military sources “Peter MacKay’s Submarine Envy: Canada’s defence minister has deep issues. Here’s how to deal with them.”
- “Leaked documents suggest Canada helped the United States and Britain spy on participants at the London G20 summit four years ago. Britain’s Guardian newspaper says spies monitored the computers and intercepted the phone calls of foreign politicians and officials at two G20 meetings in London in 2009. The paper says the effort included penetration of delegates’ BlackBerry smartphones to monitor their email messages and calls. The Guardian published PowerPoint slides describing the operation, including one featuring the emblem of the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency. It appears alongside the logos of key allies — the U.S. National Security agency and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters — along with an icon labelled Joint Apps ….”
- “U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson says Canadians do not need to worry about the NSA spying on them. Jacobson’s comments come after leaked NSA documents obtained by Britain’s Guardian newspaper exposed a top-secret data mining program called Prism. Prism’s exposure has since sparked a probe by Canada’s privacy commissioner about the implications of the U.S. program for Canadians. However, Jacobson said both Americans and Canadians highly value individual liberties and dismissed privacy concerns over the NSA disclosure ….”
- “Senate committee urges stronger actions to address harassment in the RCMP“ – more here
- Afghanistan (1) Next team headed downrange “Two groups of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) military personnel departed today from Edmonton, Alta., and Shilo, Man., for Kabul, Afghanistan. The military personnel will participate in the third and final rotation of Operation Attention, the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan from June 2013 to March 2014 …. Throughout the months of June and July, approximately 900 Canadian military personnel will be deployed in the area of Kabul, gradually replacing Canadian military members who were deployed in the second rotation. Most Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan members will serve with the Training Advisory Groups assigned to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and the Afghan Air Force, and with various training establishments to assist the Afghan leadership and instructor cadre with tasks such as curriculum design and the development of teaching skills ….” – more here
- Afghanistan (2) Former Canadian officer becomes consultant, nails contract to help with housing – more here
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Taliban has new director of civilian casualties, hotline number & e-mail address – operators are standing by! (link here to screen capture of statement at Google Drive)
- Syria (1) “Prior to G-8 Leaders’ discussions today at the Lough Erne Summit in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $115 million in new Canadian support that will help address the humanitarian and development challenges both in Syria and in those neighbouring countries receiving refugees …. In response to UN and International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement humanitarian appeals for Syria and neighbouring countries in 2013, Canada is providing $90 million in new support to humanitarian organizations operating in Syria and in refugee-hosting countries with a view to urgently providing food, clean water and sanitation, emergency health care, shelter, and protection for populations affected by the Syrian crisis. An additional $25 million in support will also be provided to Jordan and Lebanon to build resilience of government services and infrastructure, including in health, education and the delivery of basic services currently under severe stress because of the influx of Syrian refugees ….” – more here
- Syria (2) Columnist: good idea NOT arming the anti-government forces
- Canada’s Navy boss says no more wearing of uniforms for navy vets – a lively discussion here at Milnet.ca (disclosure: I’m a moderator at Milnet.ca)
- Conservative senator on what’s needed before we deploy troops “…. A clear set of Canadian expectations around the purpose, dynamics, operational command, shared real-time intelligence and areas of responsibility are essential for any future deployments. These exigencies are not “wouldn’t it be nice options” but important requirements for an advanced democracy that has often carried more than its fair share of military duties, risks and casualties in joint operations in defence of sovereignty, freedom, and peace.”
- HMCS Toronto crew (via the Info-machine): those narcotics we seized blowed up REAL good!
- Colombian air force flies with Canadians, others at big exercise in Cold Lake
- Disarmament think tank continues to press for Canada not to buy “killer drones” – here’s the petition (where, one wonders, if anyone has changed the boilerplate message in the box before hitting “Sumbit”?)
- “Norway and the International Committee of the Red Cross are raising concerns about pending legislation from the Harper government that would make Canada a full member of a treaty to ban deadly cluster bombs. Their questions represent a significant addition to a growing list of international organizations and foreign governments that say a loophole in Canada’s bill would undermine the Convention on Cluster Munitions …. the sharpest criticism has been reserved for a loophole in the bill that allows Canadian Forces personnel to be involved in the use of cluster bombs through joint operations with countries that haven’t agreed to the ban — primarily the United States, which also stayed out of the landmines treaty. Lou Maresca, a senior ICRC lawyer, told The Canadian Press that its biggest concern centres on a provision that would allow the Forces to transport or stockpile the banned bombs in joint operations. “The biggest concerns we have about the legislation are linked to the provisions on interoperability,” Maresca said during an interview at the ICRC’s headquarters overlooking Lake Geneva. “For us, that raises serious questions about the legislation and how that goes in parallel with the object and purpose of the convention, which is to eliminate any use of cluster munitions.” Norway, the country leading the cluster bomb ban and the first to sign and ratify the new convention in Oslo in 2008, also raised questions about Canada’s pending legislation. “We would normally not comment on the internal processes in other countries,” Norwegian Ambassador Steffan Kongstad, whose country holds the presidency of the CCM process, said in an interview. “But I can say that we would not present such a law in the Norwegian parliament. It seems somewhat inconsistent with the purpose of the convention.” ….”
- Canada helping out the Palestinians “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today visited the West Bank to announce an immediate, $25-million contribution to aid Palestinians …. Baird announced up to $1.4 million in new support to the Office of the Quartet Representative. An additional $3.6 million will further the Palestinian Authority’s security system reforms and strengthen the rule of law in the West Bank. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, said from Ottawa that an additional $20 million in development assistance builds on previous Canadian contributions of $300 million over five years and will help meet urgent food and health needs while Canada considers future funding ….”
- AGAIN with the “former military guy in charge of Canadian Space Agency = militarization of the Agency” meme
- “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, will join officials from the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and the OSI Clinic Network to announce a new initiative in support of Veterans and others with operational stress injuries ….” this morning in Ottawa
- “The prime minister’s national security adviser, federal lawyers who work on terrorism cases and intelligence analysts in the Privy Council Office would be forever forbidden from discussing sensitive aspects of their work under proposed new rules. The Harper government wants to pull the cloak of eternal secrecy over past and present employees of nine federal agencies and those who used to toil at two now-defunct branches. They would join the more than 12,000 current and former federal intelligence officials already covered by Security of Information Act provisions forcing them to take the secrets of their most closely held work to the grave ….” – more on the change of rules in the Canada Gazette here.
- Pentagon Info-machine shares pix of Mounties training with U.S. Coast Guard colleagues off the West Coast – more on the Shiprider program here
- Afghanistan (1) Ah, the problem with setting precedent with one person “A Canadian soldier who was gravely injured in a rocket attack in Afghanistan will be allowed to remain in the military until he qualifies for a pension that will help him adjust to a life permanently changed by his disabilities. But it is unclear if the protections offered to Corporal Glen Kirkland by Defence Minister Peter MacKay on Tuesday will apply to all soldiers who are wounded in the line of duty ….”
- Afghanistan (2) “An attempt to hold military officers to account for allegedly trying to intimidate an injured Canadian soldier into toning down his testimony before a parliamentary committee has been smothered behind closed doors. The House of Commons defence committee met for almost an hour out of the public eye on Wednesday to deal with a motion by Liberal MP John McKay over the case of Cpl. Glen Kirkland. Following the meeting, the only thing McKay and New Democrat defence critic Jack Harris would say was that the motion, which called on the committee to ask the Commons to investigate the alleged intimidation, no longer existed. Neither of them were allowed to say whether the motion had been voted down or withdrawn because proceedings that happen behind closed doors are to remain secret ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Remember how the Taliban Info-machine said “Islam says suicide bombing is wrong, so we do “martyrdom operations” instead”? (links to non-jihadi site) Here’s the last time they tried a similar spin, that time on how assassinations really ARE covered under their read of Islam
- “Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officials (yesterday) opened a brand new Barrier Free Transitional Accommodation unit to assist recovering seriously injured CAF members from the Winnipeg region. The program is part of the Legacy of Care funding initiative which was announced on September 28, 2010, as part of the Government’s commitment to supporting CAF personnel who suffer physical and mental impairments. Barrier Free Transitional Accommodations are provided at no personal cost. These facilities include utilities, Internet access, phone, cable, housekeeping, maintenance, and transportation services to places of treatment. The unit is intended to accommodate seriously injured CAF members who are receiving regular, specialized treatment in a geographical location other than that of their principal residence ….”
- Commentary “Canada’s submarine fleet never worked. It’s time to stop ignoring the problem“
- “Calls for the Royal Canadian Navy to scrap or replace its beleaguered fleet of submarines are premature, says retired rear-admiral Tyrone Pile. “Canadian taxpayers have made a big investment in this capability and my view is we’ve turned the corner — it’s time to reap some of the investments,” said Pile, who served as commander of Maritime Forces Pacific from 2007 until his retirement in 2010. On Tuesday, both the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Rideau Institute said the Victoria-class submarines, purchased second-hand from Britain in the late 1990s, are nearing the end of their service life and should be scrapped or replaced ….”
- “Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Ships Glace Bay and Kingston departed Halifax (yesterday) to conduct a seven-week period of coastal operations and training exercises until the end of July. As part of their deployment, these two Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, and the Naval Reservists who crew them, will visit various ports of call along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, providing Canadians with opportunities to tour the warships and interact with their crews …. In between port visits, HMC Ships Glace Bay and Kingston will conduct various coastal operations and training exercises to maintain operational readiness to deploy on joint operations at home and abroad. This tour will also provide opportunities to inform and educate Canadians about how the Naval Reserve contributes to the protection and security of our maritime waters and approaches by working with our allies and other government partners in maritime security ….”
- “Changing technology and a blurring of the lines between the political and military roles is challenging the millennia-old concept of just war, a British researcher told delegates to a security conference in Kingston. Evolving over more than 2,500 years, the concept of just war is a philosophical framework that guides nations in conflict and touches on elements such as the legality and morality of going to war, the extent of hostilities, and it also separates the responsibility for sending the country to war from the actual fighting between civilian political leaders and the military. But with the expanding use of remotely piloted drones, the interrogation techniques that border on torture, and the increasing threat of cyber-attacks, that framework is under pressure in modern conflicts with hostile nations or terrorist or insurgent groups and may force western countries to revise the basic rules for making war, said David Whetham from King’s College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. “The battlefield isn’t a field anymore,” Whetham told delegates at this year’s Kingston Conference on International Security at Fort Frontenac ….”
- “The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, to make an announcement related to national security” this morning
- “…. the Bomber Command Museum of Canada is looking to expand. Officials from the Nanton museum have presented a plan to town council that would see the construction of a new 33,600-square-foot building and a new tarmac. “We keep acquiring more and more airplanes that are clearly related to what we do here. As we restore them, we need more space. Particularly when we put wings on them,” said David Birrell, a director at the museum. The new facility would contain a commercial area to be used for functions, meeting rooms, washrooms, display areas, a 200-seat media theatre, library, restoration shop and storage ….”
- Afghanistan (1) CF publishes latest stats on dead & wounded in Afghanistan
- Afghanistan (2) “The Canadian Forces has reversed its decision to discharge a Canadian soldier who testified about his struggle for health benefits and his long recovery from injuries suffered in the Afghanistan war. Vancouver-native Cpl. Glen Kirkland, who almost died while serving in Afghanistan five years ago when he was attacked by the Taliban, was informed by the military he could stay in the army until he qualifies for a 10-year indexed pension. According to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, if a CF member is released from duty because of a disability, they are entitled to an unreduced pension if they have accumulated 10 year of pensionable service. The military’s decision comes a day after Kirkland was notified he was going to be discharged in six months — despite assurances from Defence Minister Peter MacKay in the House of Commons that he would not suffer “ramifications” for speaking out …. Tuesday’s decision comes after Mackay called Vice-Chief of Defence Staff Bruce Donaldson late Monday night and ordered him to reverse the military’s decision to discharge Kirkland. The outcome of that call was revealed on Tuesday when NDP MP Peter Stoffer asked MacKay in the House of Commons if he was going to follow through on his promise that Kirkland would not suffer any ramifications for testifying about his experience as an injured veteran …” – here’s an exchange with the Liberal defence critic earlier in the session confirming the same thing
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Taliban Info-machine: Islam says suicide bombing is wrong, so we do “martyrdom operations” instead! (links to non-jihadi site)
- “Canadian Forces Base Kingston went into lockdown Tuesday afternoon after a gunshot was heard. A soldier stationed at the base was found in a wooded area shortly after the shot was heard, which drew a response from Kingston and Military Police. The soldier died at the scene. “Shortly before 3 p.m., we did receive a call regarding an incident on base at CFB Kingston,” said Const. Steve Koopman. “We’re assisting the military police with an investigation in regards into what we’re describing as an incident.” While the lockdown was imposed as a precaution, no one else was harmed in the incident. The soldier took his own life. “At roughly 3:30 p.m., or a little bit after, we feel the incident has been resolved, meaning there’s no direct threat to our knowledge to the public, specific organization or individual at this point in time,” Koopman said ….”
- Nova Scotia, town wants to move an airport to CFB Greenwood to make way for a (possible) factory “Municipal council in the Annapolis Valley have decided to relocate a local airport in order to make way for a possible expansion of a Michelin Tire plant. The decision regarding the Waterville municipal airport was made Tuesday following an update to Kings County council on a study exploring the potential expansion of the Michelin Tire plant in Waterville. The plant is located next to the airport. The French tire giant has said there is no guarantee of an expansion, but it wants to be able to move quickly if it decides to do so. In a news release, the Department of Economic Development said it would work with the municipality to look at the possibility of relocating the airport at Canadian Forces Base Greenwood. The department said a letter would be sent to the base to request a feasibility study ….”
- Commander in Chief’s headed out east, visiting 5 Wing in Goose Bay today
- Syria “Canada has no plans to revisit its decision not to send military aid to Syrian rebels, something U.S. President Barack Obama is reportedly considering. Senior Canadian officials travelling with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a trip to Europe said Ottawa has not changed its position on the issue despite the rapid advances the Assad regime has made in its efforts to crush rebel forces in Syria. The Harper government has repeatedly expressed concerns about the possibility of weapons supplied to the rebels ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda-linked groups that are part of the forces challenging Syrian President Bashar Assad. “Arming unnamed people whose identities we do not know and whose objectives we do not understand, I think is extremely risky,” Harper said last month ….”
- “The first period of Maple Flag has just ended and, said the program’s co-ordinator, it went well. Major Forrest Rock said the annual exercise is rooted very much in reality. “We basically take what exists in the world today and make it unclassified,” in order to train war fighters in state war scenarios, said Rock. With the exercises, a fighter should be ready to go to war if need be, he added. Rock said Maple Flag is a graduation exercise for those having taken the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. Others have taken the Tactical Electronic Warfare Instructor Course. “There’s a very heavy draw on all the Air Forces resources out there,” Rock commented. This year’s participants in Period 1 included, besides Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium and, for the first time, Colombia. Period two’s participants will include Singapore, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Rock said Maple Flag’s biggest benefit is “the opportunity to train with NATO and non-NATO partners.” The unrestricted airspace around Cold Lake also lends itself well to the exercises, he added ….” – more on Maple Flag from the RCAF Info-machine here
- Way Up North (1) “A pair of think-tanks say the Harper government should either announce plans to scrap its glitch-plagued submarine fleet — or begin the process of replacing them before any more tax dollars are wasted. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Rideau Institute say the Victoria-class submarines, purchased second-hand from Britain in the late 1990s, are within a decade of ending their service life, and have never lived up to expectations. A report written by defence and law academic Michael Byers and researcher Stewart Webb asks whether Canada, bordered on three sides by oceans, even needs submarines. Byers says he doesn’t see a strong case for submarines, but remains open-minded and would like to see the government make a coherent case for the capability. He says the stealth coastal surveillance aspects of subs is rapidly being overtaken by unmanned aerial vehicle technology ….” – more details in the report, “That Sinking Feeling: Canada’s Submarine Program Springs a Leak,”, here
- Way Up North (2) Commentary: why not protect the north from a different part of the north? “The only reasonable approach to Canada’s northern development and Arctic sovereignty is to focus initial efforts on the Port of Churchill on the west coast of Hudson Bay, and secondarily on Rankin Inlet, which is further up the same coast. Attempts to support national security, aboriginal communities, scientific research, environmental protection and resource exploration by annual sealifts and air freight are not economically viable. Lower cost and greater frequency forms of logistics and operations are required to provide for a safe and prosperous northern future ….”
- A new face on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (will that make a difference if the rules don’t change?) “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, …. announced a new and highly qualified appointment to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) in Veteran Owen Parkhouse, CD, MA. In addition to his duties as a Member, Mr. Parkhouse will also serve as the Board’s Vice Chair. This marks the first time in the history of the Board that a member with his military credentials has held a senior leadership position. The appointment was made in accordance with VRAB’s merit-based selection process. Through this appointment, Minister Blaney is continuing to honor his commitment made to Veterans and stakeholders’ organizations to increase the number of Board members with military backgrounds …. Owen Parkhouse began his career in the military within the ranks, eventually receiving a commission before retiring as a lieutenant-commander. Following his military career, Mr. Parkhouse was employed within the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program as a project coordinator, development officer and peer support coordinator ….”
- “Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the country’s top-secret eavesdropping agency is barred from spying on Canadians. He is wrong. In fact, the little-known Communications Security Establishment Canada is specifically mandated to intercept telephone or Internet communications involving Canadians — as long as it does so in an effort to gather foreign intelligence. Indeed, when CSEC does think its snooping activities might ensnare Canadians — or even non-citizens who happen to be in Canada — it is required by law to get authorization from the defence minister. In 2011-12, the last year for which figures are available, eight such ministerial authorizations — all of unknown size and scope — were in play ….”
- “Opposition parties are calling for greater oversight of Canada’s spy agencies as questions continued to swirl about the size and scope of super-secret U.S. and Canadian surveillance programs. Concerns about Canada’s spy agencies existed even before it was learned over the past week that the U.S. National Security Agency and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) have been mining Internet and telephone records from around the world. But those revelations have given extra impetus to calls for the need to ensure a proper balance between national security and privacy protection, as well as better ways to monitor the activities of agencies that largely operate in the shadows ….”
- “Chiheb Esseghaier shuffled to the prisoner’s dock on Monday, his ankles bound in shackles, for what would be another lesson in his crash course in Canadian law. Esseghaier is one of two men charged with terror-related offences in relation to a plot to derail a Via Rail passenger train somewhere between Toronto and New York City. But his demand for a defence based on the Qur’an rather than the Criminal Code has thrown a wrench into even some of the routine proceedings in this case, and is proving difficult to accommodate. Criminal defence lawyer Nader Hasan, a member of Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, says he does not believe Esseghaier can get the lawyer he wants. “You cannot answer those charges without resorting to law based on man-made Canadian Criminal code and Canadian constitutional principles,” Hassan said. Not only does he think Esseghaier will not find the lawyer he wants, Hassan says the accused is potentially ignoring Islamic law. “As a Muslim I know enough to know that Muslims, whether they live in a Muslim majority country or a majority non-Muslim county they have an obligation to follow the law of the state,” he said ….” – more here