- “The military’s second-in-command has defended the size of the bureaucracy in the Canadian Forces, including the large number of civilians and executives who have been become a veritable army at National Defence headquarters. And while acknowledging reductions will be necessary in light of planned budget cuts and the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson told members of the Senate defence committee Monday that across-the-board slashing would be unrealistic. “I agree that we need to reduce it,” said Donaldson, the vice-chief of defence staff. “It’s just very difficult sometimes to know what it is that can be reduced.” ….”
- Libya “U.S. and Italian defense chiefs on Oct. 17 said they examined prospects for ending the allied air campaign over Libya and how to support the country’s post-Gadhafi transition in talks at the Pentagon. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who expressed thanks for Italy’s role in the NATO-led operation, said alliance commanders favored pressing on with bombing raids as Moammar Gadhafi’s loyalists were still putting up resistance in Sirte. “We are looking for our commanders to… recommend when they believe that the mission comes to an end,” Panetta told reporters after meeting his Italian counterpart, Ignazio La Russa. “As you know, there’s still fighting going on in Sirte. And as long as that continues to be the case, our commanders feel the need for us to maintain our presence.” ….” More details of Canada’s assets in the air (and sea) fight there here.
- CF visits Africa for communications exercise. “Africa Endeavor is the largest communications interoperability exercise on the African continent. Held this year from 7 July to 12 July, it’s an annual “Command, Control, Communications and Computer” — C4 — integration exercise sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to foster interoperability between Canada, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and 35 African countries. Africa Endeavor comes together over the course of three conferences hosted by participant countries throughout the year, and culminates in a two-week exercise. This year, the Canadian delegation was led by Colonel Pierre Lamontagne, the Canadian Forces Liaison Officer at AFRICOM Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, and included communication specialists Master Warrant Officer Serge Boily, Warrant Officer François Pitre and Sergeant Eric Viau of 3 ASG Signals Squadron in Gagetown, and Warrant Officer Pierre Paradis from CEFCOM Headquarters in Ottawa ….”
- Worries in the home of Veterans Affairs Canada about coming cuts. “The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to cut over $222 million from its budget over the next two years, a move that some believe will have a huge impact on employees in Charlottetown. The cuts are outlined in the department’s plans and priorities report, which details spending and programming plans up to 2014 ….”
- New B.C. group pushing for better compensation for Canada’s wounded. “They sat quietly in the corner of a room that overflowed with more than 250 supporters of Equitas Society and considered the levels of justice, fairness and equity that injured soldiers like them experience. Formed just three weeks ago, the Equitas Society was holding its first fundraiser Friday at Hazelmere Golf Club, MC’d by Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg. While the evening was considered a financial success, it was a rude awakening for some just learning about financial compensation for wounded members of Canada’s military. Lawyer Don Sorochan was quick to put a fine point on the disparity between settlements in civil cases and the level of financial support afforded soldiers ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1a) Stand by for Big Honkin’ Ship contracts soon. “It is Ottawa’s best-kept secret but the biggest defence procurement contract since World War II is expected to be unveiled as soon as this week, according to a government source. In the coming days, about $35 billion worth of shipbuilding contracts will be announced. There are two deals to be handed out and three shipyards battling for the contracts. The contenders include Nova Scotia’s Halifax Shipyard, British Columbia’s Seaspan Marine Corp. and the Davie shipyard of Levis, Que. The largest contract is worth $25-billion and will be spent on combat vessels for the navy. The other contract is worth $8 billion and will go towards building non-combat ships, including a new Arctic icebreaker. The shipyard which loses out on the big contracts can make a bid for smaller contract of about $2 billion ….” More on Ottawa’s bracing for blowback from the award here and here.
- What’s Canada Buying? (1b) “…. The (Big Honkin’ Ship contract) selection is being overseen by a panel of deputy ministers, and KPMG will vet the final decision. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose says the decision will be 100 per cent on merit and is “completely at arm’s length of politics.’’ But in Ottawa, there is no such thing as politics at an arm’s length.”
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) “…. The Department of National Defence (DND), requires the purchase and delivery of miscellaneous inert weapon simulation supplies for CFB Wainwright, Alberta. Items are required in support of LFWA training centre courses and will only be used in a training environment ….” More in the list of (mostly bad-guy) goodies from the bid document (PDF) here.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) “Canadian fighter pilots selected to fly the new F-35 could find themselves trained by either the Americans or a private contractor, according to internal air force documents. The staggering multibillion-dollar purchase price means the Conservative government can only afford 65 of the multi-role stealth fighters. The number — Canada currently has 79 aging CF-18s — stretches the ability of the air force to meet its commitments, says a series of briefings given to the air force chief last year. Internal air force memos from the fall of 2010 lay out the “potential for NO pilot training in Canada.” ….” No indication of Canadian Press sharing the documents for you to see.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) Aussie DefMin still mulling F-35 vs. upgraded F-18s.
- Alexander Johnston, 1885-1918, R.I.P “For 90 years, his final resting place was unknown. His service, however was commemorated on the Vimy Memorial near Arras, France, where the names of more than 11,000 other Canadians who have no known grave also appear. But next week, the remains of Pte. Alexander Johnston, which surfaced when a First World War battlefield became an industrial construction site in 2008, will be buried, with full military honours, at Le Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery in Sailly, France. And his Ottawa-based next of kin will be on hand to see it. Indeed his great grand-niece, Ann Gregory, who is a bugler with the Governor General’s Foot Guards, will play The Last Post as part of the ceremony. She’s travelling as part of the National Defence delegation and her father, Don Gregory, and brother, David, will also be on hand thanks to Veterans Affairs, which is providing funding for two family members to attend. In addition, three of Johnston’s relatives who live in Scotland, where he was born, will also travel to France for the ceremony ….”
- War of 1812 (1) “The Americans got Wayne Gretzky and Pamela Anderson — but we won the War of 1812, right? I mean, that’s what we were taught. Damn Yankees declared war on us for no good reason. Plain greed. Some piddling trade dispute. And, sure, our British masters kept snatching sailors off American ships. But nothing serious. Deep down, they just lusted after our fish, trees and future hockey players. So they attacked like star-spangled skunks in the night. Lucky for us, they didn’t count on Sir Isaac Brock and Tecumseh and Laura Secord joining forces to whip their Yankee doodle derrieres. We even got some lovely chocolates out of the deal. Damn straight, we won. So why do many Americans call it their Second War of Independence — and insist they won ….”
- War of 1812 (2) Remembering the Aboriginal contribution to the fight. “The Friends of Tecumseh Monument will soon have an opportunity to expand on their dream of telling Chief Tecumseh’s legacy and the events occurring in Chatham-Kent during the War of 1812. An announcement delivered from members of parliament Dave Van Kestern and Bev Shipley Friday, told the crowd gathered at Chief Tecumseh’s monument on Longwoods Road, near Thamesville, of available funding for the Canadian Heritage’s Celebration and Commemoration Program. $28 million will be available to communities to promote a greater awareness of Canada’s importance in the war and to aide with bi-centennial celebrations. A feasibility study, costing $49,500 from the $28 million, was completed last week to determine how to improve the site and how the changes can benefit the community as a whole ….”
- War of 1812 (3) Columnist on Ottawa’s spending plans to commemorate the war: “…. I would have a greater measure of respect for the government if it spent our money strengthening the friendship between Canada and the U.S., rather than glorifying a war that ended with neither side richer in land or in purpose. The boundaries remained what they were before 1812. I await the influx of American tourists in the summer of 2012 who will be surprised to learn they are the bad guys in Canada’s so-called “most important war.” “
MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 2 Sept 11
- Libya Mission (1) The PM talks tough to the troops in Trapani, Sicily – here’s my quick-and-dirty analysis of some of the messaging (via Army.ca). More on the speech here, here, here and here.
- Libya Mission (2) NDP want any new or extended mission debated, voted on by Parliament.
- Libya Mission (3) Welcoming home HMCS Charlottetown. Note the message development – we’ve gone from deploying to “Enforce UNSCR 1973” through deploying “In Response To Situation In Libya” and “(Enforcing) A No-fly Zone Over Libya” to now “Fighting The Gaddafi Regime”. More on the ship’s homecoming here.
- Libya Mission (4) An editorial reminder: “…. The first priority for leaders such as Mr. Harper, Mr. Baird and their NATO counterparts should be to examine the circumstances of this victory as closely as they would have a defeat, and to dedicate sufficient resources to helping Libya make the best of its post-Gaddafi existence. We’re only in Act One.”
- Libya Mission (5) Canada lifts sanctions against Libya (but can’t unfreeze assets yet) – more on this here, here and here.
- Libya Mission (6) One vet who’s been there, done that, watches Libya. “As the world watches with horror and hope as North Africa is torn by revolution and war, retired air ace James (Stocky) Edwards is remembering as well as watching. The Comox resident, still going strong at 90, flew over the desert lands still under siege during his days as a Second World War pilot, ultimately earning the third-highest number of aerial victories in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Among other exploits in 1942, he bombed 200 Nazi vehicles parked “mostly in the desert in North Africa — in the land where they’re getting rid of [Moammar] Gadhafi,” he says. More importantly, he shot down 13 German planes on his own, along with eight “probables” downed and damaged another eight ….”
- New boss – LGEN Stu Beare – over at Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM). More on the handover here.
- The Leslie Report/CF Reorg Canada’s CF military boss says he’s behind the report, even if his isn’t the last word on some of the proposed changes. “…. Speaking about the proposed cuts, (Chief of Defence Staff Walt) Natynczyk said: “Everything’s on the table.” He added: “I can’t implement all of this. A lot of this is government decisions.” ….” More on this one here and here.
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) Another entry in the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) sweepstakes. “Force Protection Industries, Inc., a FORCE PROTECTION, INC. group company, today announced the submission of a bid and test vehicle to the Canadian Forces for the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) project. Force Protection is offering the Canadian Forces a 6×6 variant of the battle proven Cougar wheeled combat vehicle developed by Force Protection to meet the TAPV requirements. Force Protection will be the design authority and have overall responsibility for the acquisition contract to supply the TAPV vehicles and maintain configuration control. As Force Protection’s main Canadian partner, CAE will have overall responsibility for the comprehensive in-service support (ISS) solution, including: vehicle operator and mission training systems; engineering information environment; fleet management services; systems engineering support; and, lifecycle and integrated logistics support services. CAE will also be responsible for assembling a pan-Canadian team of companies to develop and support any country-specific requirements for Canada’s replacement fleet of tactical armored patrol vehicles ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Wanted: someone to help run kitchens at at USS Montreal, St Jean-sur-Richelieu, Farnham, Valcartier and Quebec.
- F-35 Tug o’ War Mark Collins shows the half-empty glass that is the Joint Strike Fighter’s prospects outside Canada.
- Marc Hani Diab, 1986-2009, R.I.P.: “More honours continue to roll in for the documentary, If I Should Fall, produced and directed by Londoners. The film, about Trooper Marc Diab, 22, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 by an improvised explosive device, will be screened at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin on Remembrance Day. International guests and military personnel will be at the Berlin screening. “There is no higher recognition than being asked to represent one’s country to other nations of the world,” said producer Paul Culliton. The poignant feature-length film, which includes interviews with Diab’s family and comrades and with retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, was created by three Fanshawe College graduates: Brendon Culliton, director; Dan Heald, assistant director; and Brock Springstead, photographer of the documentary ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Lookit the cool charts in the Taliban’s (alleged) stats summary for August 2011 (links to Sribd.com)
- Westjet supports the troops by not charging them for extra checked luggage. “Canadian soldiers traveling in uniform won’t have to lighten their pockets to pay for excess baggage when flying via WestJet. The Canadian airline will allow military personnel to check in a maximum four bags at no additional charge. Oversize and overweight charges will also be waived. It’s WestJet’s way of honouring the men and women who serve the country. “The reason we chose to do this is to demonstrate support for the men and women of our armed forces, and to thank them for their service to Canada,” Westjet spokesperson Rob Palmer said. “It is a small gesture compared to what they do for us, certainly, but it’s something we wanted to do to express our appreciation to them.” ….”
- 9/11 Plus Ten “As the horror of Sept. 11 sank in, it was a refrain repeated over and over for months: the world would never be the same. As a close relative, neighbour and trading partner to the anguished, grief-stricken United States, Canada was emphatically a big part of that world. “We were terrified,” recalled Janna Trosman, who was a 12-year-old elementary student in the Toronto area at the time. “Toronto is like a main world hub as well.” Now 22, Trosman said she will never forget the horror and shock on the faces of her classmates as they sat in her elementary school library watching the Twin Towers crumble. “That is like an everlasting effect. I remember the day very, very clearly,” she said. Ten years after terrorist attacks reduced the Twin Towers in New York City to rubble in one of those I-remember-exactly-where-I-was moments, some things are no longer the same for Canadians ….”
- Globe & Mail opens story about vets having trouble finding work by talking to…. a veteran of the British army living in Toronto. “During three tours of duty in Afghanistan, Captain David Mack commanded dozens of combat troops on missions in unpredictable situations, often amid the whiz of bullets and the scream of shells. Throughout his 10-year military career, the Torontonian’s leadership skills and experience were never questioned by fellow soldiers in the British Army’s Royal Regiment of Scotland, in which he served as a platoon commander. But when he made the transition back to life in Canada, employers couldn’t easily see how his military skills and experience would translate to a civilian workplace. “Whenever I started describing to employers what I did in the military, people would just scratch their heads,” said Mr. Mack, who had been studying theology at Oxford University when he enlisted in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks …. ” Don’t worry – by paragraphs 20 and 21, we hear from a Canadian vet who’s found work and is helping others do so as well through a non-profit networking group he helped set up, Treble Victor Group. Insert slow clap here….
MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 31 Aug 11
- Libya Mission (1) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is leaving open the possibility of continuing Canadian military involvement in Libya after the scheduled Sept. 27 end date. Canada’s participation in NATO’s air mission over Libya has been extended once, but the government hasn’t yet said whether it will propose another extension. The NDP, the official Opposition, is against another extension. Asked what happens after Sept. 27, Baird said he’s taking the situation one day at a time. “This is quickly coming to an end. It’s not over yet. Canada will obviously be there in theatre to support the Libyan people,” Baird told (CBC) …. “The end is in sight. We’re not there yet, but let’s take it one day at a time,” he said. Pressed again on whether the troops will return to Canada on Sept. 27, Baird reiterated “the job is not yet complete.” “I would think that once the people of Libya are safe, that’ll be something that we’ll consider,” he said ….” More on this here.
- Libya Mission (2) “Canada is heading into high-level talks on Libya this week without formal offers of assistance for the country as it rebuilds after a bloody uprising. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief spokesman says the intent of the meeting in Paris is to determine what the rebels’ National Transitional Council needs. Dimitri Soudas says Canada can contribute in several ways but the international community first needs to co-ordinate assistance. “Before you just start putting things into force and implementing them, you actually have to make sure everyone is going the same direction,” he said in a briefing Tuesday. Mr. Soudas said Thursday’s meeting is also not a victory lap for NATO forces, even as military officials say their sustained campaign is seeing life slowly return to normal in many areas. “The definition of victory is always something that people try to establish,” he said. “Victory to a large extent is democracy in Libya.” ….” If the Government of Canada really means that bit in red, we may be there a while….
- Libya Mission (3) Academic: Canada should have own eyes, ears on the ground, not just sharing intelligence from NATO partners. “…. When asked where Canada is getting its information, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, referenced the NATO-led mission in which Canadian fighter aircraft and a navy frigate have been participating since March. “Don’t forget this is a co-ordinated effort,” he said, “and information is shared internally.” Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., said he was surprised to hear that Canada doesn’t have anyone on the ground in Libya given the importance the government has attached to the mission, both militarily and politically. “It is critical to have Canadian eyes and ears on the ground in order to make informed decisions,” he said. “We have to evaluate those in charge, provide humanitarian assistance and help build the peace.” ….”
- Libya Mission (4) “Canada is looking at how to “unfreeze” up to $2 billion in frozen Libyan assets for re-construction efforts in Libya, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman Dimitri Soudas. The assets were frozen in February following a United Nations sanctions resolution and now Ottawa, following the lead of the United States, is trying to determine whether the money can be released and channelled toward “humanitarian and other needs” to help establish a transition to a democratic government in Libya. Ottawa is “looking at options at how to proceed to unfreeze those assets and for them to be put towards that use,” said Soudas ….”
- Libya Mission (5) And for all those calling for a U.N. mission in Libya, this, from the rebels. “Libya is rejecting the idea of deploying United Nations military personnel to help stabilize the country. A 10-page document written by the UN Secretary General’s special adviser on Libya that was leaked and published online recently calls for the deployment of 200 unarmed UN military observers and 190 UN police to help stabilize the country …. that could include monitoring or mentoring police officers. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the chairman of the transitional council, said Tuesday he had met a day earlier with NATO officials in Qatar, where it was decided that no foreign soldiers would be needed in Libya. “We decided that we do not need any forces to maintain security, be it international, Muslim or other,” he said ….”
- The CF’s Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) is getting a new boss tomorrow.
- Way Up North (1) Lookit what the South Koreans are up to (hat tip to Mark Collins for sharing this one) “Commercial ships able to route through the Northwest Passage without ice breaker assistance are a step closer to becoming a reality. Korean shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), announced a few days ago that a model of their 190,000 dwt iron ore bulk carrier had finished its test program in the world’s largest – 90 meters long – ice test tank at Canada’s Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT). With an awareness that the traditional ice-breaker bow construction (where the mass of the ship’s bow structure bears down to break up pack ice) acts as a drag on efficient progress in open waters, international collaboration between IOT and Korean researchers from Pusan National University aimed at finding the optimal bow design for a ship operating in various ice conditions. Numerical computer analysis by the team culminated in manoeuvring and resistance performance tests of the model bulk carrier in the special ice-test tank ….”
- Way Up North (2) One academic’s view, post-Nanook 2011: “…. one could argue that the senior military leadership views the Arctic (especially in a post-Afghanistan milieu) as a means of further justifying its reason for being. Stated differently, it gives them a mission priority that has the firm backing of the Conservative government in Ottawa. This is critical because it allows the military to make the case to political masters that the defence budget should be insulated from any deep cuts in the rush to balance the books …. It would be better for the military to wrap itself in an Arctic mission (and to secure the requisite procurement) rather than have the Coast Guard squeeze out more money for sovereignty patrols, scientific investigation and a polar-class icebreaker. In short, the Canadian military is perfectly content to play around in the Arctic just as long as the money taps stay open and they can use their training there for other “hot spots” around the world. And if this is the case, you can look for the Canadian Forces to deepen its military footprint in the Arctic.”
- NATO’s mission boss in Kosovo: we’re not ready to cut back troops just yet because of violence here. Canada has five troops there with Operation KOBOLD – stay safe, folks.
- Afghanistan (1) Federal Court of Canada to Amir Attaran seeking pictures of detainees: no photos for YOU! (via Army.ca)
- Afghanistan (2a) Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing shuts down (via CEFCOM Info-Machine news release, 18 Aug 11)
- Afghanistan (2b) Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing shuts down (via CEFCOM Info-Machine feature story, 30 Aug 11)
- Afghanistan (3) QMI/Sun Media editorial: “If there was a truly down moment during Jack Layton’s funeral on Saturday, it was Stephen Lewis praising Layton for wanting to negotiate with the Taliban. And, worst of all, this venture into the absurd got a generous and lasting applause. Can you imagine anyone but the elite left giving a generous and lasting applause to something so offensive and so wrong-headed? Yet, they lapped up the Orange Crush like it was cultist Kool-Aid. How sad is that knowing those same Taliban that Lewis and Layton think would give credence to a negotiated end to their terror have taken the lives of more than 150 of our Canadian soldiers, plus a diplomat, plus a Canadian journalist? And that’s not counting the hell and death they have brought down on the Afghan people. But everybody Rise Up! Rise Up! ….”
- Afghanistan (4) I screwed up, missing this film from the CF Info-Machine: “…. You don’t have to wait for a telling, warts-and-all documentary made about one Canadian military experience in Kandahar. Desert Lions: Canadian Forces Mentors in Kandahar is a great piece of reporting and surprise, it’s a Canadian army production. A reservist with the Calgary Highlanders regiment and a former CBC television reporter, Mike Vernon spent several weeks in 2010 shooting footage and collecting stories in the volatile Panjwaii district of Kandahar. This was a hairy time for the Canadian Forces, especially in Nakhonay, the small, Taliban-infested village where Mr. Vernon found himself encamped with nine members of an Operational Mentor Liason Team (OMLT), reservists like himself, assigned to a complex and dangerous mission: To hold Nakhonay while helping “enable” a company of Afghan soldiers, some of them good, some of them awful. All of the men struggled with cultural barriers and stupid military politics, inside a deadly combat environment where the enemy was always present but seldom seen. Scary ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) Vendors aiming to sell the CF a quiet electric snowmobile have a bit more time to send in their bids (via Army.ca).
- What’s Canada Buying (2) Wanted: someone to build a cold storage building in Petawawa.
- Royalizing the CF Survey says…. “According to (Harris Decima) Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson “By and large, Canadians agree with reverting to the traditional names for Canada’s Navy and Air Force and only one in ten are strongly opposed to the change. As might have been predicted based on historical evidence, Quebec residents find the lowest level of agreement on this point, but even there, opinion is fairly evenly split.” ….” More from The Canadian Press here.
- “Ministers responsible for Veterans Affairs and senior officials from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Germany, Denmark, France and the Netherlands today completed two days of meetings to discuss support for Veterans. Ministers emphasized the need for collaborative research, policy development and programs for Veterans. The meetings were hosted in Ottawa by the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs …. The following statement was released by the Summit participants at the conclusion of the meetings: Honouring and providing services to Veterans is a shared goal around the world. All of our governments have programs in place to meet the needs of those transitioning from military to civilian life. Research is playing a growing part in allowing us to better understand the transition experience. By agreeing to collaborate more closely on common research projects, we will be able to develop improved ways of supporting Veterans throughout their lives ….”
- Border Security: Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird releases two reports on consultation results with Canadians – one here, the other here. Media coverage: folks seem to worry about privacy, information sharing/civil liberties (more on that here) and sovereignty (more on that here), while business wants a more open border.
- Vancouver PD to public: recognize any of these rioters? “Vancouver police have already received more than 50 tips after launching a website Tuesday aimed at identifying participants in the June 15 Stanley Cup riot. So far, police have posted photos of 40 suspected rioters, and scores more are expected to be added to the riot2011.vpd.ca site over the coming weeks. Police Chief Jim Chu said Tuesday that the riot investigation was proceeding carefully to ensure suspects could be charged with participating in a riot, rather than lesser crimes such as looting or mischief. “We’re not pulling our punches. We’re going for the most serious charges we can give,” said Chu. The first 40 suspects posted to the Riot 2011 website were randomly selected from a group of some 200 unidentified people police are investigating ….”
MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 3 Mar 11
- CF to Libya (1a): Canada’s Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) now has a page with information on Operation MOBILE, Canada’s mission to Libya: “The Canadian Forces launched Operation MOBILE on 25 February 2011 to assist the departure of Canadians and other foreign nationals from Libya. Op MOBILE is part of a whole-of-government effort led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) ….” The CF’s Combat Camera folks have pages with photos and video from OP Mobile, too.
- CF to Libya (1b): CEFCOM’s first feature story about the evacuation mission so far.
- CF to Libya (2a): So, what’s the job of the HMCS Charlottetown, exactly? “…. Cmdr. Craig Skjerpen, addressing his crew before departure, said they were heading into an “emerging humanitarian crisis” in North Africa, along with the navies of the United States, Britain and other Western nations. The country is in revolt over the 41-year reign of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Skjerpen told reporters little is yet known about the Charlottetown’s actual role once it arrives off Libya, which will come following a week-long Atlantic crossing. He doesn’t know yet whether the ship will join an existing NATO fleet or a U.S. naval task force, both now in the Mediterranean. Skjerpen also said he has no orders to begin enforcing United Nations trade sanctions against Libya. Nor does the frigate have stocks of humanitarian aid on board. “It’s a very dynamic situation over there right now, so we’ll have to adapt to whatever happens.” ….” More from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald here.
- CF to Libya (2b): Well, here’s what SOME in Canada’s Libyan community want. “Edmonton’s Libyan community is calling for the removal of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and has asked the Canadian government to take an active role in supporting the Libyan people. Zachariah Mansour, a second-year science student at the University if Alberta, was among 60 protesters calling for these measures at a recent rally at Churchill Square. “Basically we want to see a similar response to what happened in Haiti during the earthquake and in Sri Lanka during the tsunami; we want humanitarian aid not military intervention,” he says ….” (Note to Edmonton Libyan community: a lot of the help sent to Haiti got there BECAUSE of the military.)
- CF to Libya (3): Toronto think-tanker John Thompson’s take: “….Warships off the Libyan coast can be used to potentially interdict shipments to that country, provided that some sort of agreement between various nations decides to exclude — for example — shipping from Iran or North Korea, and can manage to do so under international law. If the war continues, warships might be used to escort shipments of humanitarian supplies. More interventionist roles, such as declaring that Libyan aircraft all remain grounded, or sending special forces to secure stocks of chemical weapons (which Libya has, and used in Chad in the 1980s) or to destroy Libya’s inventory of Scud Missiles to keep the conflict contained to Libya alone. However, such interventions might cause lasting resentment that will outlive the current situation and could easily be used as for propaganda purposes by any faction.”
- CF to Libya (4): More “learning” of JTF-2 headed downrange. “…. the dispatch of Canada’s frigate HMCS Charlottetown, which sails Wednesday from Halifax with 240 Canadian Forces personnel aboard, represents a commitment of weeks or months of military presence. Its first job is to set up command-and-control for evacuation efforts if they’re still needed. Then it is likely to assist in aid operations to Libyans, and could finally end up as part of tougher international military “sanctions” against the regime, such as enforcing a blockade, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said. Canadian special forces troops are now based in Malta, The Globe and Mail has learned, and are believed to be playing an active role in assisting evacuation missions to rescue Canadians and citizens from other countries ….”
- CF to Libya (5a): Retired General Lew MacKenzie, in his own words, on Canada sending fighters to help in any no-fly zone that’ll be imposed on Libya: “…. The immediate need for imposing a no-fly zone over Libya will only be achieved outside of the Security Council’s decision-making by a coalition of the willing. Some nation will have to assume a leadership role and as French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first to recommend the idea, France would be an obvious choice. Canada should participate.”
- CF to Libya (5b): Retired General Lew MacKenzie, quoted & paraphrased, on Canada sending fighters to help in any no-fly zone that’ll be imposed on Libya: “…. Retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie said deploying CF-18s would be “logistically possible,” but “extremely difficult and somewhat time-consuming.” He foresees a more humanitarian role for Canada’s troops, although even that could be difficult since Canada doesn’t have a lot of assets already in the area ….”
- Canada isn’t sending JUST military help to Libya. “…. “Canada is acting swiftly to help meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Libya which are a result of recent violence in that country,” said Prime Minister Harper. “We are taking action to provide immediate humanitarian support to areas that need it most.” …. Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will help to address urgent medical requirements, basic humanitarian needs, and the repatriation of people displaced into Tunisia and Egypt. Canada’s help will include improving access to food, water, sanitation, shelter and emergency medical care. The initial contribution being announced today will support humanitarian efforts through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration ….” More on that from the Canadian Press, CBC.ca, Postmedia News, and QMI Media.
- It didn’t take long for the usual suspects to come out against ANY kind of help for Libya involving people whose titles include ranks. “The Canadian Peace Alliance is opposed to any military intervention in Libya or in the region as a whole …. Western military deployment to Libya is a bit like asking the arsonist to put out their own fire. Far from being a shining light in a humanitarian crisis, western intervention is designed to maintain the status quo and will, in fact make matters worse for the people there …. The best way to help the people of Libya is to show our solidarity with their struggle. There are demonstrations planned this weekend. The people united will never be defeated!” I’m sorry, but WTF does “showing our solidarity with their struggle” mean, exactly? Ship over some freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed solidarity to drop on the masses? If you’re going to whine, how about some concrete solutions? Even the Libyan community in Edmonton was clear about what they want.
- More news on the latest in Libya here (Google News), here (EMM News Brief: Libya), here (NewsNow), here (BBC) and here (Al Jazeera English).
- “Ottawa’s patience has run its course as the federal government is set to impose penalties of up to $8-million against Sikorsky for the latest delays in the delivery of a new fleet of maritime helicopters. The aircraft manufacturer is facing a financial hit after failing to meet a schedule that already has been pushed back from the original 2008 deadline. The amount of the penalty is largely symbolic, representing up to 0.15 per cent of the $5.7-billion contract, but the move highlights Ottawa’s decision to take a tougher stand against the U.S.-based company ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War: Ceasefire.ca has posted a web page allowing you to send a letter to prominent politicians to oppose purchase of the F-35 here. One wonders how many people “personalize” the letter to make it say something COMPLETELY different than what’s already there before sending it? Just sayin’….
- Wanna buy an old Snowbird? “A rare chance to acquire an iconic piece of Canadian aviation history is up for grabs when a Snowbirds Tutor Jet is auctioned in Toronto next month. The Canadian Forces’ Snowbirds team, which claims Moose Jaw as its home, has entertained millions of air show spectators as international ambassadors for Canada for more than 40 years …. Now one of these rare aircraft will be offered at public auction for the first time at the annual Classic Car Auction of Toronto from April 8 to 10 held at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., next to Pearson International Airport. It is one of only four known CT-114s under private ownership …. Originally powered by the J85 jet engine, which has since been removed after being retired from service, the aircraft is expected to become a candidate for restoration or historical museum display.”
- Know those pirates stealing boats and killing people around Somalia? Now, ship owners here in Canada are starting to get more worried, too. “The hijackings and kidnappings orchestrated by Somali pirates in waters halfway around the globe are rippling back to shores of this country, Canadian shipping companies say, and they’ve joined an international campaign urging world governments to do more to combat the problem. Several international shipping associations and sailors’ unions have launched the Save Our Seafarers campaign, warning the “growing Somali piracy crisis” is threatening global trade and endangering those working on ships plying the waters off Africa’s east coast. The campaign’s supporters include the Chamber of Shipping of B.C. and Fairmont Shipping (Canada) Ltd., which say Canadian companies have had to turn down business and make costly changes to shipping routes to avoid the precarious waters patrolled by pirates. “This problem has been recurring and has been escalating to a degree that we don’t feel this is something the industry can resolve,” Samuel Tang, a Fairmont Shipping vice-president, said in an interview ….”
MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 23 Dec 10
- Corporal Steve Martin, R22eR, R.I.P. He’s home. More here, here and here.
- The last gang returning from ROTO 10-1 expected to arrive in Petawawa on Xmas eve – better late than never.
- Louise Arbour, a former Canadian UN judge, UN human rights boss, and president/CEO of a security think tank, tells is straight when it comes to Afghanistan: “…. In the coming months, Canada and other NATO partners are likely to face a critical choice between supporting constitutional review or standing by silently as the Afghan government implodes. The alternative for Afghans is constitutional change – giving power back to the people rather than centring it in Kabul – or a return to full-scale civil war. After so many years of sacrifice on the battlefield and financial generosity at home, Canadians must recognize that their continued engagement in Afghanistan must rest not on wishful thinking but on a policy grounded in reality.”
- Someone in the translation contractor’s office has some ‘splainin’ to do…. “A company that supplies Afghan translators for Canada’s mission in Kandahar may have mistakenly raised the interpreters’ hopes of emigrating to Canada, according to a newly released document. A contingent of Canadian military and civilian officials say International Management Services, or IMS, told interpreters that their immigration papers were being considered — even though not every application was. The officials noted the finding in a report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which they submitted in March after spending three weeks in Kandahar reviewing applications made under a special immigration program …. “Complications arose when (blank) contacted IMS, the prime contractor for many of the CF’s interpreters and other language assistants, to confirm employment records,” the report says. “(Blank) reported that IMS, staffed in Kandahar by local nationals, informed some program applicants that they were being considered. Given that the list submitted to IMS was only of individuals that were potentially eligible, this likely raised false expectations among applicants.” ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban claims 6 Canadians killed on patrol in Zhari, but nothing in mainstream about such an incident.
- UN: Taliban causing more than 3 out of every 4 civilian casualties in Afghanistan lately (PDF, page 13). Taliban spokesperson: Lies! All Lies! Taliban web site: Lies! All Lies! (links to non-terrorist site)
- The UN’s senior official in Afghanistan speaks to the Security Council about how things are going in Afghanistan. What did he say? Depends on what you read.
- Year-end message from the head of Canada’s Expeditionary Force Command: LOTS of changes and work in 2010, but “We don’t know what’s coming next; we only know that the CF is ready, willing and capable of dealing with it when it does.
- Ottawa is extending the deadline for applying for compensation for illnesses linked to the use of Agent Orange and other plant killers at CFB Gagetown in the mid- to late-1960’s. “A New Brunswick widow who lost her husband to cancer six years ago is praising a decision by the federal government that will allow more people to qualify for Agent Orange payments. Bette Hudson, whose husband Ralph died of bone cancer after two decades in the military, said Wednesday that Ottawa finally got it right in loosening the rules on who can get a $20,000 ex gratia payout. Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced in Fredericton that the government is removing a controversial condition that required applicants to be alive on Feb. 6, 2006 — the date the federal Conservatives came to power. “It makes me feel as if my husband is worthy,” she said at the announcement, moments after Blackburn outlined the changes ….” Here’s the Veterans Affairs Canada news release and backgrounder, the Order in Council approving the change and a Canadian Forces page with various history and documents on the issue.
- Canada’s special forces are getting new vehicles (when there’s better ones to buy): “Canada’s special forces are holding off on buying new vehicles until technology catches up to its needs. The Ottawa-based Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) had been looking to replace its Humvee vehicles, now being used in Afghanistan by units such as Joint Task Force 2, but had to cut short its plans after the trucks being examined were determined not to meet various technical specifications. Industry sources say one company, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, bid on the program, estimated to cost a little less than $80 million. The new vehicles were supposed to be acquired next year and were to be located with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment at Petawawa ….”
- More on Canada’s Communications Security Establishment moving into a brand, spanking new building right next to a brand spanking new building for the Department of National Defence (including a few details of a “private-public partnership” for building/running some of the buildings?). More on the usually-low key CSE here, including a letter to the editor from this week here explaining why they need bigger digs.
- Could possible cuts in US funding for their F-35 fighters increase the price of Canada’s proposed buy?
- Who do people responding to an online survey trust more, Canada’s government or Canada’s military? “Canadians have more trust and confidence in Canada’s armed forces than they do in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, according to a new study. The study, based on polling conducted by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and released exclusively to iPolitics, found that 75.7 per cent of respondents had trust and confidence in the Canadian Forces to do a good job compared to only 54.1 per cent who trusted the federal government. While faith in both the Armed Forces and the federal government tended to rise with age, one of the sharpest divides was among English-speaking respondents — 80.3 per cent of whom trusted the military and 52.7 per cent of whom trusted the federal government ….”
- More end-of-year interview stories, this one from CBC.ca: “Defence Minister Peter MacKay is calling on the Afghan government to “pick up the slack” as the Canadian military hammers out the details and logistics of its new training mission in Afghanistan. As NATO allies continue to try to limit corruption and improve Afghanistan’s fledgling democracy and governance, the defence minister cited “incremental progress” in the country in 2010. “There are definitely improvements, tangible improvements that we can see, that we can point to,” MacKay told the CBC’s James Cudmore in a year-end interview. “And yet, all of it is tenuous as far as, will it last?” But MacKay insisted those gains translate into a “shifting of attitudes” among Afghans toward not only Canadian soldiers, but the tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police they are training ….”
- First, NORAD pimps Santa for some good exposure and PR (followed by Canada’s Air Force). Next: NAV CANADA, the agency that runs air traffic control at civilian airports, gets into the act. The latest to hop on the “let’s milk Santa for some attention” bandwagon? Canada’s Minister of Immigration: “Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today reaffirmed Santa Claus as a Canadian citizen during a special citizenship ceremony. “We wish Mr. Claus all the best in his Christmas Eve duties again this year,” said Minister Kenney. “And rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living in Canada’s North, he can re-enter Canada freely once his trip around the world is complete.” Santa was on hand to reaffirm his citizenship while 100 new citizens from 32 countries were sworn in ….”
- In other security news, scumbag anti-Semite who shared info on best way to kill Canadians is back online: “The resurrection of a website advocating the genocide of Jews and Canadians, founded by a Toronto extremist who is wanted by police, highlights the difficulties of policing the Internet, where public postings can be generated and disseminated from almost anywhere. The website was founded by Salman Hossain, 25, a Canadian extremist who fled Canada earlier this year during a police investigation into use of the Internet to promote terrorist violence in Canada. Police subsequently charged him with five hate crimes — two counts of advocating genocide and three counts of promoting hatred — but so far, have been unable to locate him. The site was shut down after the charges were laid. The National Post reported last month that the site had re-emerged on a U.S. free-speech server but was again shut down. This month, it found a new home, through Internet servers based in Switzerland ….” More details on who’s hosting the site now, and the Interpol notice for the chap in question here at Army.ca.
MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 1 Dec 10
- The Bloc’s motion to condemn the coming training mission in Afghanistan? Crash & burn, thanks to the Liberals voting with the Tories against it – more on the vote here and here. It didn’t take long for Jack Layton to come out swinging, via e-mail: “…. Before Michael Ignatieff became leader, the Liberal Party voted to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan in 2011. Michael Ignatieff has turned his back on that commitment. Before Michael Ignatieff became leader, Liberals from Lester Pearson to Jean Chrétien were known for taking brave stands to ensure Canada remained a voice for peace in the world. But Michael Ignatieff is taking the Liberal Party in a different direction. It’s time for leadership you can count on to do the right thing. Leadership that understands the Canadian way. Leadership that will actually stand up to Stephen Harper and get results for you ….” Funny he didn’t mention the Liberal PM who was at the wheel when the troops moved to Kandahar. Anyway, here’s who voted which way (209-81, via Hansard).
- More questions in the House of Commons on how kids were handled as detainees in Afghanistan, this one from Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae, this one from NDP leader Jack Layton and this one from the Bloc’s Jean Dorion.
- Message to the troops: “Afghan mission ending, but work must go on”: “Canada’s top general for overseas deployments took pains during his latest visit to the Afghan mission to assure soldiers at the start of the last combat tour in dangerous Kandahar province that their work will go on. “It’s a question I asked myself,” said Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, who leads the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command. “We’re not just leaving . . . we’re handing over,” he told reporters at Kandahar Airfield on Tuesday. He said an American replacement brigade has been identified, but cannot yet be named, to fill the void when the Canadian battle group leaves Kandahar next summer after four years. Canada’s Afghan involvement after next July will be “Kabul-centric,” Lessard added ….”
- More from General Lessard, from the Canadian Press: “…. Canada’s overseas commander, Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, said the military’s focus between now and May will be to help deliver long-promised development projects and governance to unstable districts of the province, in particular areas where Canadian troops are operating. It is a window of calm through which a lot of bricks, mortar and good intentions will have to be stuffed. A period of relative calm has settled across southern Afghanistan after the bloodiest year since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. Since the beginning of the year, 669 coalition troops have been killed, including 15 Canadians. Lessard set down the May deadline because it marks the end of the poppy harvest and the start of an annual spike in violence known as “the Fighting Season.” Between now and then it’s “important to deliver,” said Lessard ….”
- And who’ll do what where in the upcoming training mission? Stay tuned: “The contours, staffing and timing of the Canadian training mission in Afghanistan have not been settled and probably won’t be until early next year, the commander of Canadian forces overseas said. Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard, head of the central military command, or CEFCOM, said a fact-finding team was in the country last week and is expected to propose various options before Christmas. The seven-member team is to analyze what training skills are required, what rank of officers will be needed and the timetable for the deployment of trainers …. “The emphasis is to be on Kabul but not solely Kabul,” Gen. Lessard said, meeting with reporters after the latest of his frequent visits to Afghanistan ….”
- Meanwhile, the message back at home: “Canada’s contribution will continue when combat ends” (from a column submitted by an MP in a local paper): “Canada’s remarkable service in Afghanistan has made true gains for women, children and for all citizens of that troubled land, although the strides forward have sometimes come at a painful cost. The 152 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to Canada and in defence of human rights have improved Afghans’ prospects for a brighter future, while serving to protect the national security of Canada. Our soldiers’ leadership as part of this UN-mandated, NATO-led mission has made Canadians proud. It is important to build on our troops’ hard-won achievements to ensure they result in a lasting legacy for the people they fought to defend. Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011, as planned. But our responsibility to preserve the progress we’ve made after a decade of service still remains …. When our current combat mission ends, Canada will deploy up to 950 military trainers and support staff at facilities centered in Kabul, and in a strictly non-combat role. This new training role will continue until March 2014. Canadian skill and expertise will be tapped to properly train Afghan security forces – in classrooms and inside bases – to enable them to provide security for their own people …. Our ongoing involvement in a non-combat role to equip Afghanistan for the challenges still ahead will continue to build on the foundation laid at great cost by our soldiers.”
- Remember the video game order for the troops downrange? Potential vendors get more time to submit their bids.
- Now that his kit has been incinerated, there is at least one call to have all of murderer-rapist Russell Williams’ photos burned, too: “If I were in charge of QMI Agency, and therefore newsroom boss of its 36 major dailies and 200-plus community newspapers, I would send out an edict that no picture of convicted killer-rapist Russell Williams will ever again be published in our pages with him wearing a military uniform. But I have no such clout. Perhaps the power of suggestion will win the day. It would be the right thing for the largest newspaper chain in Canada to do, and for it to then publicly state why this corporate decision was made ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Three Afghan “puppets” alleged assassinated in Kandahar City.
Canada’s Post-2011 Mission: “Survey Says” and “We’re REALLY Outta Here”
Two tidbits jump out at me today.
1) Canadians appear to be split down the middle with respect to support for Canada’s mission in Afghanistan (with about 1/2 saying they want to know more).
- Guess Who Else Says People Should Know More About AFG Mission?
- Time to Explain Why, What Happens Next
- Selling Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan
2) This, from CanWest News Service:
The general responsible for all Canadian troops overseas was emphatic this week that his forces will not provide security for Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City beyond next summer.
“It is cease operations across the board in July, 2011,” Lt.-Gen Marc Lessard said in an interview. “The (operational mentor and liaison team), the battle group, the PRT, helicopters. Operations cease.”
However, the parliamentary order that Canada’s soldiers come home next year has put diplomats and aid workers at the PRT in a quandary because Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said that Afghanistan is to become “a strictly civilian mission” after 2011 and would continue to be a huge recipient of Canadian aid.
The difficulty with the prime minister’s stance is that public servants and police that Ottawa has sent to Kandahar City to oversee aid projects and to counsel local authorities on such issues as education, medical care, water management, policing and governance are entirely dependent upon several hundred Canadian infantrymen and combat engineers for their safety and transport.
“There is a political decision that we are awaiting guidance on and when we get it, the civilians will know what they are doing,” said Ben Rowswell, Canada’s representative in Kandahar (RoCK), when asked about the apparent contradiction in the Harper government’s positions on the withdrawal and a continuing civilian mission ….
I guess the Government didn’t see this coming, right? >>insert eyeroll here<<
Selling the CF a Bit Better
I preface this by admitting that there’s probably HEAPS more hurdles and process than I can see from the outside looking in when it comes to getting the CF’s message out to the public. I also know the individual CF public affairs people I’ve dealt with are passionate about getting the good word out there.
All that said, I’ve pointed out some areas where the CF comms machine might do a better job in selling the outstanding work the soldiers/sailors/air folks are doing in the field, maybe even picking up some best practices from military establishments alreading doing interesting things. I’m still seeing things that make me scratch my head, though.
For example, on Canada’s Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM), we read about the good work being done by troops in general, and engineers in particular, on an operation almost a month after the operation happened.
Meanwhile, I stand to be corrected, but I’ll bet a donation to Wounded Warriors that these stories and photos from ISAF Public Affairs about Canadians didn’t take a month to get out there on the Internet:
Canadian Medic Returns to Kandahar to Mentor Afghan National Army
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – Surviving just one tour in Southern Afghanistan is no mean feat. Many of the world’s best and brightest soldiers have fought and died here, and still more return home irrevocably shaken. There are among us, however, soldiers whose mettle has been cast in the furnaces of war, and who feel it is their duty to return, having emerged battle-tested and knowledgeable.
Army Cpl. Corey Sagstuen, a combat medic currently serving in a Canadian Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, is one such soldier. In 2007 he deployed to the Kandahar province with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Pan’jwai District. Now, he has returned to Kandahar’s Zhari district on the opposite side of the Arghandab River to lend his skills and experience to his fellow Canadian soldiers and Afghan national army soldiers alike.
There are a lot of green medics coming to Afghanistan, and it’s a bad place to make mistakes, said Sagstuen, an Edmonton, Alberta, native. Making sure they get back in one piece is how I make a difference, he said….
A Spirited Cook Dedicated to the Morale, and Stomachs, of Canadian and U.S. Troops in Southern Afghanistan
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – An old military maxim says, “An army marches on its stomach, not its feet.” The Forward Operating Base Wilson dining facility has two armies, American and Canadian, to feed and keep marching to their missions in southern Afghanistan’s Zhari District.
The FOB Wilson dining facility features an all-military cooking team with members from the Canadian and American armies. Leading this team is Sgt. Karen Jones, a military cook with 23 years of service behind her.
“It’s been a unique experience for our American counterparts, because they’re not afforded the same kind of training or time on the kitchen decks that we are. We do this all the time as Canadians,” said Jones, whose home unit is 3 Area Support Group at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Under Canadian mentorship, Jones said, the Americans have done and learned things which many of their peers and seniors haven’t….
What’s Canada Buying? A roundup
A few (belated) mentions of interesting stuff Canada’s military is buying. Needed:
- $1.8M worth of big-time noise and flash makers.
- Someone to rewrite all those Canadian Forces Expieditionary Command directives and other paperwork.
- Mockup of Victoria-class sub ops room to allow experiments looking at how people work in it.
- Ways to drink and speak louder through gas masks.
- Hardware & software to measure radiation.
Why you have to “triangulate” media reports….
…. to get the closest approximation of reality.
One news conference by Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard, four different headlines:
- Globe & Mail, first version: “Afghan strategy working, Lt.-Gen. says”
- Globe & Mail, later version: “Troops must prove local commitment, general says “
- The Canadian Press: “Difficult year ahead in Afghanistan, warns senior Canadian commander”
- CanWest/National Post: “Commander sees hope in war-weary Afghanistan.”
Follow-up coverage elsewhere then depends on which version is shared:
- CTV.ca: “Rough year ahead in Afghanistan: Canadian commander” (from Canadian Press)
- CBC.ca: “Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) told The Canadian Press he agrees with McChrystal’s assessment that the next year in Afghanistan will be critical.” **
** – This excerpt is from a longer story about a related issue. I haven’t been able to find a stand-alone story by Canada’s national broadcaster from this news conference. I guess it wasn’t newsworthy enough.
I would love to hear from someone in the government comms business about how feasible it would be to share transcripts of such interviews (not just CF, but any GoC department). That way, the whole exchange could get out there, not JUST what the media pick/choose from it. I know it’s done in other countries – how feasible would it be to do here?
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