- One can hope. “Hope for the best. Expect the worst. So goes the philosophy of the man leading Canada’s battle group into one of southern Afghanistan’s most treacherous areas, with the spring fighting season just around the corner. A winter of raiding Taliban redoubts for hidden weapons has Lt.-Col. Michel-Henri St-Louis feeling optimistic that the insurgents won’t be able to muster the fierce attacks of years past. “We are hoping,” said St-Louis, who is in charge of the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment combat team, based at CFB Valcartier. “The intent is to have the spike in violence either diminished, lulled or taken away. That will obviously make things better.” “I cannot stand here and say for sure in January that there will be no spike in violence, because the insurgent has a vote, and we will see how he reacts.” ….”
- On how sometimes, capturing bad guys may lead to worse bad guys getting into power.
- Former OMLT-eer Bruce Ralston highlights this story about how it appears a southern Afghanistan village had to be leveled in order to get rid of the Taliban. He points out the only Afghan unit with the group in question was an Afghan Border Police unit – no Afghan army. Hmmmm….. More “WTF?” commentary on the original article here, here, here and here.
- Reaction to Jack Layton’s latest on Afghanistan (1): Historian J.L. Granatstein’s “Layton’s Spurious Comparisions of Wars Past and Present“.
- Reaction to reaction to Jack Layton’s latest on Afghanistan (1): “Uhm…Harper compared Kandahar deaths to Vimy in ’07“. Here’s the text of the PM’s speech (apparently edited before delivery).
- Reaction to Jack Layton’s latest on Afghanistan (2): “A rapid ISAF withdrawal would lead, in very short order, to …. vicious civil war“
- What’s Canada Buying? Chest wound bandages for Afghanistan (ASAP), automating the integration of all-source intelligence, sandbags for CFB Suffield and shootin’ simulators. More on the shootin’ simulators here from the Ottawa Citizen..
- From Suzanne Steele’s warpoet.ca, “guest haiku (British Army!)“.
- “A review of charges laid against soldiers and civilians inside the defence community conducted after Russell Williams’s arrest has raised troubling questions – concerns the military’s top cop has told Forces brass to investigate further. The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal told senior officials in July that figures analyzed by his office suggest Canada’s defence community – soldiers and civilians connected to the military – has a “noticeably and disturbingly higher per capita rate of sexual violations against children, including child pornography,” than the rest of the country’s population. Its findings have puzzled the military – and the report prepared by Provost Marshal Colonel Timothy Grubb’s staff says as much, suggesting repeatedly that there may be differences from the civilian world in the reporting, investigating and recording of offences that are playing havoc with the Forces’ figures ….”
- Considering Mexico for a “break up the winter” vacation? Well, according to security analyst Mercedes Stephenson, caveat emptor (or viator).
- A must-read for Canadian politicians (and the Globe & Mail) before considering any commitment of Canadian troops to Congo: “…. By sending a contingent to the Congo, the Canadian government would be exposing its troops to an endlessly frustrating and thankless mission with no end in sight, and this in a country replete with dangers, corruption and disease ….”
- Latest in the “Let’s Get the F-35 – Let’s Not!” fight: listen to that guy Eisenhower. “…. As Eisenhower said 50 years ago, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Some things never change.”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: More attacks alleged in Kandahar, Zabul.
Some intriguing tidbits about what Canada’s defence community is buying or looking for these days.
…. The Organizational Behavior Group (OB Group) within the Collaborative Performance and Learning Section (CPL Section) of Defence Research and Development Canada – Toronto (DRDC Toronto) has received approval to conduct a three year Applied Research Project (ARP) to explore and identify the mechanisms of establishing and maintaining interagency trust. More specifically, the purpose of the Interagency Trust ARP is to understanding the psychological processes associated with trust in such environments in order to contribute to and enhance the development of this mission critical capability…. (PDF of Statement of Work here).
…. As part of a global community, Canadian Forces (CF) personnel must be able to work effectively as part of a team, either in the context of co-ordinated joint operations or in collaboration with various government and non-government agencies and organizations, international organizations, or multinational military forces, embedded in diverse social and cultural settings. Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) will conduct research that will facilitate the realization of the full synergistic potential of teams operating in Joint, Interagency, Multinational, and Public (JIMP) environments. The objectives of the Applied Research Project (ARP), entitled “JIMP Essentials in the Public Domain: Implications for the Tactical Commander,” include: 1) a conceptual clarification of the aspects of JIMP, with implications for the development of knowledge, education and training tools for the tactical commander; 2) identification of individual differences/aptitudes that facilitate effective collaboration in a JIMP environment, with implications for training, selection and teamwork; and 3) integration of historical and international perspectives on the Public aspects of JIMP. The challenge is to understand the critical human-centric, psychosocial and cognitive aspects of collaborative work and to develop methods and models to foster collaborative behaviour …. (PDF of Statement of Work here)
…. The Department of National Defence requires the alteration of Government furnished Ballistic Blankets to provide additional occupant protection in light armoured vehicles. The alterations will consist of cutting, sewing and installing hardware.
Scope of Work:
This requirement consists of the following elements:
(a) Quantity of twenty-five (25) kits of Ballistic Blankets within one (1) month of contract award;
(b) Three (3) options of up to quantity seventy-nine (79) kits of Ballistic Blankets to be delivered within 1 month after each option is exercised ….
…. REQUIREMENT: Defence Research and Development Canada – Suffield has a requirement for which the objective is to generate a coherent high-speed reactive structural material jet and to experimentally study the reaction and interaction of this coherent jet with a nearby structure, and in particular, to determine the impulse applied to a structure. The second objective of this work is to develop metallurgy for desired shapes of a class of more advanced reactive structural materials with great mechanical strength and density and to characterize the critical shock initiation and energy release of the most promising materials ….
…. This requirement is for the Department of National Defence (DND) to procure Driver’s Vision Enhancer (DVE) systems. This device provides a primary day/night driving aid to enhance mobility and survivability of the Armored Vehicules (sic) for the Canadian Forces (CF) by enabling the driver to better negotiate terrain and assist in crew surveillance tasks. The DVE System must aid the driver in negotiating obstacles such as ditches, craters, railways, water, etc. The DVE System must be capable of providing sufficient fidelity for the driver to manoeuvre tactically by assisting the driver in obstacle avoidance and route selection that provides the best cover and concealment when performing tasks during Canadian operations ….
….The Department of National Defence (DND) is the owner of the Tank Farm and Fuel Distribution System located on the Canadian Forces Base (5 Wing) and is adjacent to the 5 Wing Goose Bay military airport and in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador. Work under his contract shall include:
a. Development of a business / financial model to evaluate future operations and maintenance of the tank farm facility under a Terminal Model of operations.
b. In general terms, a Terminal Model is a mode of operation wherein the prospective operator of the facility would provide fee-based fuel storage and related services to multiple public and private sector users of the facility. Fuel product owned by the various clients could be co-mingled within the fuel storage tanks.
c. Potential clients would include public and private sector entities having requirement for bulk fuel storage….
…. The Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement for Fasteners, Tape, Hook and Pile …. A firm quantity of 33,000 meters to be delivered to Montreal, Quebec and 17,500 meters to be delivered to Edmonton, Alberta for a total quantity of 50,500 meters….