- Who’s taking part in Operation Nanook this year (1)? “Three Canadian navy ships and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter are being outfitted in St. John’s for an extended mission to the Arctic. The Canadian Forces says the frigate HMCS St. John’s will be joined by the coastal defence vessels HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside, as well as the American coast guard cutter USCGC Willow ….”
- Who’s taking part in Operation Nanook this year (2)? “Frostbite, trench foot, snow blindness and wild animal attacks aren’t things Peter McKenna usually has to worry about while he’s at work. But they are on the list of things the UPEI professor might encounter when he heads to the Arctic as an observer in the Operation Nanook 11 sovereignty exercise. McKenna said before he could go on the trip, he had to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks involved, which included falling through ice, hypothermia, dehydration and geographic disorientation. “I’m mildly concerned but I think that I’m in capable hands when it comes to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence,” he said ….”
- Here here. “…. The Department of National Defence currently offers programs for serving members to address operational stress, addictions, mental health and wellness. There are also 32 Military Family Resource Centres across Canada and more in other countries. The centres run a full range of services on youth, parenting, wellness, deployment, and family separation and reunion. Like all programs, they need independent evaluations of their effectiveness. No doubt, they could work better and reach more people. They also could better target participants by working more closely with veteran’s organizations. Nonetheless, they are essential tools of support for military families — especially for the thousands of spouses who are fighting for their partners, and for us, on the new front line of troop reintegration. (M)inister Mackay, General Natynczyk: Don’t touch the funding of these programs.“
- Afghanistan (1a) Survey says…. “As QMI Agency followed the last Canadian combat troops out of Afghanistan last month, there was one question that seemed to get under the thick skin of even the toughest soldier. In fact, after repeatedly being asked by media in the combat zone, it became a catch phrase among some combatants — tossed about with shrugs and often rolled eyes. The question wondered: “Was it worth it?” Now, in the settling dust of Canada’s combat exit from Afghanistan — our soldiers now remain in logistical and training missions only — an exclusive Sun Media national poll has found almost three in five Canadians doubt whether the sacrifice asked of our country was worthwhile. Only 30% of respondents to the Leger Marketing survey felt it was. As well, 58% of Canadians thought the mission could not be categorized as fully accomplished after we pulled out last month ….” More poll details here (PDF).
- Afghanistan (1b) “…. Despite the costs and the human loss, Canada’s role in Afghanistan, its combat assignment now over, has at least given the people of that tortured country a chance at a better life. What the Afghan people do with that opportunity is now up to them. It goes without question, however, that our soldiers did their uniform proud and, while only 30% of Canadians may ultimately see the cause as worthwhile, it will never negate the fact that no soldier has ever been more supported at home, despite the war’s unpopularity ….”
- Afghanistan (2) Bringing home the signs, flags, letters and other paraphenalia.
- Afghanistan (3) Guess where the last Canadian flag that flew over Kandahar’s Provincial Reconstruction Team base Camp Nathan Smigh has ended up?
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) “Remember the Used Subs” editorial: “…. As they go about their work, each member of the bureaucracy in charge of military procurement would do well to keep a photo of Canada’s woebegone subs close at hand, as a caution against false economies. In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme Allied commander in the Second World War: “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.” “
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) Remember earlier this year when the CF research arm said it was hiring someone to do taser weapon research (second item)? There’s a bit more time to offer an alternative the companies proposed.
- F-35 Tug o’ War: Troubles in the U.S. “All 20 F-35 Lightning IIs have been grounded following a failure of the aircraft’s integrated power package (IPP). The incident took place at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., during a ground maintenance run of aircraft AF-4, the fourth conventional takeoff and landing version of the triservice Joint Strike Fighter. Following the failure of the IPP — which combines the functions performed by an auxiliary power unit, emergency power system and environmental controls — the crew shut down the aircraft as per standard operating procedures, according to a press release by the JSF program office. There were no injuries ….”
- Some Canadian government systems are included in a report of systems found to be attacked or hacked. “Security experts have discovered an unprecedented series of cyber attacks on the networks of 72 organizations globally, including the United Nations, governments and corporations, over a five-year period. Security company McAfee, which uncovered the intrusions, said it believed there was one “state actor” behind the attacks but declined to name it, though several other security experts said the evidence points to China. The long list of victims in the extended campaign include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and an array of companies, from defense contractors to high-tech enterprises ….” More from the McAfee blog here, and a Q&A here.
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (1) Number six nabbed, Amnesty International wants war crime trials here.
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (2) “It’s not up to Canada to prosecute people suspected of crimes against humanity, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday. The federal government has been publicly stepping up deportations of people found inadmissible to Canada because of a suspicion they may have participated in war crimes. But Toews said it’s not realistic for Canada to investigate, prosecute and imprison people who commit crimes against humanity in other countries. “Canada is not the UN. It’s not our responsibility to make sure each one of these faces justice in their own countries,” he (said) …. “What we are doing with [the Canada Border Services Agency] is ensuring that Canadian law is obeyed ….”
- Pack o’ Wanted War Criminals (3) The courts say you shouldn’t hear what group one of the nabbed from Pakistan is allegedly associated with.
- A bit of perspective on the Winnipeg Jets logo: “…. drawing political conclusions from a sports logo — racial issues aside — can point you down a long and winding road to insanity. Where does it end? Can’t cheer for the Ottawa Senators, as it conflicts with views on Canada’s unelected Senate. Or the Edmonton Oilers, as it might imply you support the pillaging of our natural resources. Or the L.A. Kings, since that would mean acceptance of any atrocities committed throughout history under monarchist rule. Or the Carolina Hurricanes, because it would be insensitive to those who have suffered at the hands of natural disaster. Forget the Calgary Flames, as too many people perish in house fires and to wear that sweater would be disrespectful. Or the Minnesota Wild. Nothing against the outdoors, they’re just ugly f*%kin’ sweaters.”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (1) – Canada’s CF-188’s fly their first mission over Libya. More from the Toronto Star here, the Globe & Mail here, CTV.ca here, Postmedia News here and here, Dow Jones wire service here and Agence France-Presse here.
- No Fly Zone in Libya (2a) – “The Harper government rallied opposition parties to “war” Monday, casting Canada’s military intervention in the Libyan crisis as a moral imperative. A House of Commons debate took place within hours of the air force carrying out its first combat patrol to enforce the UN-mandated no-fly zone over the embattled north African country …. MacKay couldn’t say how long the no-fly mission would last, but said no one wants to have forces in harm’s way any longer than necessary. The motion, which sources said was the subject of feverish back room drafting among the parties, passed unanimously late Monday night ….”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (2b) – Here’s the motion Parliament passed: “In standing in solidarity with those seeking freedom in Libya, the House welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; that the House deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime against the Libyan people; acknowledges the demonstrable need, regional support and clear legal basis for urgent action to protect the people of Libya; consequently, the government shall work with our allies, partners and the United Nations to promote and support all aspects of UNSC Resolution 1973, which includes the taking of all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya and to enforce the no-fly zone, including the use of the Canadian Forces and military assets in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1973; that the House requests that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Standing Committee on National Defence remain seized of Canada’s activities under UNSC Resolution 1973; that should the government require an extension to the involvement of the Canadian Forces for more than three months from the passage of this motion, the government shall return to the House at its earliest opportunity to debate and seek the consent of the House for such an extension; and that the House offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of the Canadian Forces.” Want to read the debate? Click here for Hansard’s transcript or here for a PDF of the debate transcript (49 pages).
- No Fly Zone in Libya (3) – “Canadian warship HMCS Charlottetown is patrolling the waters north of Libya, as UN-backed airstrikes continue. Cmdr. Craig Skjerpen said Charlottetown is with NATO ships, but not with the convoy enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. “We’re able to see some of the strikes commence but we’re a little farther back, so we’re in a safe area,” he told CBC News on Monday morning. Charlottetown and its 240 crew members left their home port of Halifax on March 2. At the time, the mission was to evacuate Canadian citizens from Libya and provide humanitarian assistance. By the time the ship was in the area, the mission had changed. Skjerpen said it’s possible the ship will be called on to help enforce an embargo. For now, there is no specific task other than to patrol. “We’re looking at the vessels and the aircraft that are in the area and we’re learning the traffic patterns to see if there’s anything abnormal,” he said ….”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (4) – Terry Glavin comments on how even with the U.N. sanctioning the mission, the “usual suspects” are opposed: “…. there was little in the way of singing and dancing going on in certain sections of the Toronto Danforth, it is an understatement to say. “The UN Security Council resolution which authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians from attack is dangerously vague and opens the door to a much larger western military intervention in the country,” the so-called Canadian Peace Alliance complains. This is what one might expect from some of the most conservative, narrow-minded, privileged and autocrat-fancying counterrevolutionaries to come along since the early Mussolinists. But in the days and weeks to come, how many degrees of separation will this posture mark from that of the New Democratic Party? ….”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (5) – “The UN Security Council on Monday turned down a Libyan request for a special meeting to discuss Western air strikes on the country following the council’s imposition of a no-fly zone, diplomats said. The council decided instead simply to hold a briefing already planned for Thursday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on how the resolution that set up the zone to protect civilians in Libya’s internal conflict is being implemented ….” More from the Globe & Mail here.
- No Fly Zone in Libya (6) – Not EVERYONE in NATO wants the mission to become a NATO mission. “…. So far, the NATO alliance has been unable to reach an agreement on participation in the military implementation of the no-fly zone. Turkey is resisting the measure and is calling for a new review of other possible measures the alliance could take in Libya. Ankara has also called for an immediate Western cease-fire, with Turkish officials calling on NATO to give greater consideration in its discussions to the possibility of civilian deaths, a NATO diplomat told the news agency AFP under the condition of anonymity. Ankara has rejected any NATO intervention against Libya, including the implementation of a no-fly zone ….”
- “While Canadian eyes turn to the fighter planes scrambling over Libya, a Montreal conference will discuss how the country has turned a blind eye to a far deadlier conflict elsewhere in Africa. Canada has deep business interests in Congo, where millions have died in a war related to mining, and has resisted calls for more military involvement there. A panellist for Tuesday’s Concordia University event said Canada is intimately involved in the ongoing Congolese conflict. “Canada, unfortunately, has become a safe haven for multinationals who are exploiting different areas around the world,” said Kambale Musavuli of Friends of Congo in Washington, D.C. “Many of the mining companies in the Congo — who either work with the rebels directly (or) funded them — are actually trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.” ….”
- Wounded warriors back in the fight in Afghanistan – well done! “Cpl. Maxime Emond-Pepin’s missing left eye and scarred face set him apart him from most of his peers, as does his ability to bounce back from devastating injuries. The 22-year-old from Longueuil, Que., refused to allow his battlefield scars to deter him from returning to the job he loves. His resolve was tested after a fellow soldier stepped on an improvised explosive device while the two were patrolling in Kandahar on Aug. 6, 2009. The soldier lost a leg and Emond-Pepin’s eye was damaged beyond repair. Gruelling rehabilitation sessions followed and he made a speedy recovery ….”
- “Afghan forces will take over security in seven areas in the country this summer, none of which are in Kandahar despite five years of fighting by Canadian troops in the southern province. President Hamid Karzai’s announcement today is a stark reminder that despite recent battlefield successes, much work remains before Kandahar’s security can be handed over to Afghan forces ….”
- Some rule changes in Kandahar are being considered following a less-than-productive exchange at a vehicle accident. “The Afghan troops were manning a checkpoint near the Dand district centre in Deh-e-Bagh when a resupply convoy backed up and hit an Afghan army pickup truck, causing some damage. The Canadian convoy commander, whom the NATO assessment identifies only as a corporal, tried to give a compensation claims card to an Afghan army lieutenant. But the lieutenant refused to accept it, saying he wanted cash instead because he had been reprimanded by his supervisors in the past when he could not produce money for vehicle damage. “(There were) frustrations on both sides, because there’s a little bit of a language barrier,” said Lt.-Col. Webster Wright, a public affairs officer with RC-South ….”
- A former Canadian civilian boss from the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team says “The stubborn Afghan theatre may very well be the incubator for new experiments in bottom-up stabilization of war-torn states.“
- New high tech for Canada’s navy, coast guard: “The Government of Canada has awarded a contract for an Interdepartmental Maritime Integrated Command, Control and Communications (IMIC3) system to Thales Canada. “This state of the art system will give navy and Coast Guard commanders the information they need as they work together to protect Canada’s coast line,” said Minister MacKay. “By equipping the Canadian Forces with the tools they need to do their jobs, our government is delivering on our commitment to protect Canada and Canadian interests.” The IMIC3 system will equip the navy and the Canadian Coast Guard with an advanced capability to gather and share data from coastal surveillance in near real time. Using sophisticated, integrated technologies, it will improve the secure exchange of positional information by providing operational commanders and other government departments — on shore and at sea — with the same satellite data at the same time. This will allow for more coordinated planning and execution of maritime operations in defence of Canada ….” More here.
- Historian Jack Granatstein on the coming federal election: don’t expect much defence talk. “…. What is almost certain is that it will be the only one as the politicians, the media, and the electorate focus in on domestic issues to the exclusion of everything else. Even the F-35 purchase will be framed in a “buy the aircraft or establish a national day care plan” terms. There will be no discussion of Afghanistan and the new training mission. There will be little talk of the Libyan operation unless a Canadian Air Force aircraft kills civilians. Nothing will be said about the Canada-US security talks unless the NDP feels that a burst of anti-Americanism might be helpful. And certainly no leader, no party, will say anything about Canadian national interests and how they might best be protected or advanced ….”\
- F-35 Tug o’ War – “The great majority of Canadians do not want the federal government to purchase new fighter jets, even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper is bound and determined to do just that. Nor is the Conservative lead on economic issues all that robust. These findings from a new Nanos poll for The Globe and Mail and CTV will put wind in the sails of opposition leaders during what appear to be the final days before a spring election campaign ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) – Canada’s military engineering school is outsourcing “construction engineering technicians of the Canadian Forces (CF) on Operational level Drafting and Surveying”. (via Milnet.ca)
- What’s Canada Buying? (2) – Test dummies for DRDC Valcartier (via Milnet.ca)
- When the troops leave Kandahar, the civvies go, too. “When Canada’s combat troops leave Kandahar this summer, all Canadian government workers in the South will depart, too. The thinning out of the combat mission — which still numbers well more than 3,000 soldiers — is expected to begin sometime late this spring. The wind-down of the civilian mission, which began several months before combat troops arrived in the spring of 2006, has already begun. Only 60 Canadian civilians are now based in Kandahar, down from 75 last summer. Starting next month, more civilians will be catching flights for home. “When I was preparing to come here it was clear — this was the last rotation of civilians in the context of completing what the government set out to do,” said Canada’s top diplomat in the South, Tim Martin, who transferred leadership of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team to an American diplomat last month ….”
- Remember these stats, from a few weeks ago, showing the number of Canadians killed and wounded in action in Afghanistan dropped for 2010 from the previous year? Another story has popped up about the numbers: “For many, any death involving members of our Armed Forces is a bitter pill to swallow. But when soldiers are involved in a combat mission, such as what’s currently ongoing in Afghanistan, casualties occur. It’s an unfortunate fact of life in a war zone. Although it’s small comfort to families and friends who have lost loved ones over the last year in central Asia, 2010 actually produced the least number of deaths since 2005. According to statistics released in January by the Department of National Defence, 2010 saw 16 of our soldiers die in Afghanistan – 14 were killed in action and two more lost their lives as a result of other circumstances. The drop in Canadian deaths can be attributed to three factors – the build-up of coalition troops in southern Afghanistan, a change in the Canadian area of operations, and an increased involvement by Afghan National Army personnel and police ….” If you’ve spotted a CBC.ca story on these stats, please share a link, because I haven’t seen one yet.
- Canadian General talks about his work as 2 i/c for police training, NATO Training Mission Afghanistan. (Government of Canada story & video)
- Taliban assassination via motorcycle. “Day and night, Taliban assassins on motorbikes hunt their victims, often taunting them over the telephone before gunning them down in the city’s streets. They are working their way through lists, meticulously killing off people fingered as collaborators with the Afghan government or its foreign backers. Unlike suicide bombers, who make headlines with periodic attacks that take themselves out along with their targets, most insurgent assassins escape as quickly, and anonymously, as they strike. They slip quietly back into Kandahar’s shadows, still in the hunt, sewing terror with murders that number in the hundreds each year. Each one sends a chilling message to anyone who doesn’t fall in line: You may be the next to go down. The execution could even come in broad daylight, close to home, in front of your children ….”
- Human rights groups (finally) spending more time hounding Taliban for human rights abuses.
- Nichola Goddard, 1960-2006, R.I.P.: Coast Guard to name ships after fallen in Afghanistan? Here’s the type of ship in question.
- More grousing back and forth in the House of Commons over Canadian helicopter buying processes.
- “Convicted Canadian war criminal Omar Khadr will be seeking clemency in hopes of an early release from his prison cell in Guantanamo Bay and a quicker return to Canada, The Canadian Press has learned. An application which could seek remedies ranging from an outright acquittal to a commuting of his eight-year sentence is set to go before the head of the military commissions within a few weeks. Speaking from Memphis, Tenn., Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer Lt. Col. Jon Jackson confirmed that Khadr’s defence team was finalizing the application to the convening authority. “We haven’t made any final decision on what we’re going to request,” Jackson said Wednesday. “We’re (also) currently in the process of determining what specific areas of law we’re going to address.” The clemency application is expected to be submitted in about two weeks, and a decision could come shortly after ….” A bit more from QMI/Sun Media here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan = continued occupation
- Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai seems to want to eliminate the middleman and get rid of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, allowing aid, assistance and services to be delivered by the Afghan government. What’ll this mean for Canada? Apparently, the BIG TICKET work’ll still get done: “…. The eventual closure of the bases won’t affect legacy projects such as the refurbishment of the Dahla Dam, a Canadian official at Kandahar’s provincial reconstruction team (PRT) said Tuesday. “Canada’s signature projects are not linked to this issue, as they have a completion date of 2011, and President Karzai’s comments consistently refer to a transition date of 2014,” spokesman Adam Sweet said in an email …. “ Follow-up question: what happens to all the OTHER work Canada does through Kandahar’s PRT now?
- And Canada’s lead Minister on the possibility of PRTs being shut down? “Canada is defending its development and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan amid calls from President Hamid Karzai for NATO partners to wind down their efforts. “Canada supports the Government of Afghanistan’s desire to have more international aid channelled through the Afghan Government,” Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon acknowledged in a statement Tuesday. “But this must be accompanied by meaningful public sector reform that addresses corruption and that is founded on the principles of good governance.” ….”
- “Veterans Affairs is failing former Canadian soldiers who’ve reached a mental health breaking point, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent told a House of Commons committee Monday. “People at Veterans Affairs need to be trained to deal with people in crisis,” he said, noting the department is currently unable to help veterans who need quick access to care. “The complexity of the process doesn’t allow for a response to immediate needs.” The bureaucracy and red tape involved can also be harmful to people suffering mental illness, Parent told the all-party committee. “The more times people have to tell their stories, the harder it becomes for them.” ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, Uruzgan.
- Hello, hello, hello, what have we here? “Customs agents in Cincinnati are trying to figure out why someone in Canada wanted 300 sets of military-grade night vision goggles that were seized here last month. Agents grabbed several boxes of the goggles as they passed through the DHL hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in January. Officials with Customs and Border Protection said the Russian company that was shipping the goggles to a customer in Canada did not have the necessary license from the U.S. State Department. “The big question is, who needs 300 night vision goggles?” said Brian Bell, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman. “That’s the question that really sparked a lot of concern.” He said investigators have tracked the shipment back to a Russian company and believe the goggles were headed to a business in Canada ….”
- More on the mystery goggles here: “U.S. Customs agents said they seized a sizable shipment of military-grade night vision goggles at the DHL facility at CVG last month. The agency said agents identified the parcels, conducted research and working with other resources determined that the 300 sets of night vision goggles were military grade. Further research indicated that the exporter did not have the correct licenses to export this type of equipment, the agency said. The goggles were bound for an address near Toronto, Canada, said Customs spokesperson Brian Bell ….”
- F-35 Tug of War (1): “Lockheed Martin will be cutting it close if it intends to deliver F-35 stealth fighters to Canada on schedule in 2017, according to a revised timetable released by the U.S. defence giant. An extended flight test and software programming plan was ordered by the Pentagon over a year ago and the changes mean the aircraft will not exit its full development phase until late 2016. The aircraft-maker, the world’s largest defence contractor, is scrambling to hire over 100 software engineers to complete the three-stage development of computer programs that will fly and control the advanced stealth fighter in combat. A senior company official said the version of the F-35 Lightning II that Canada wants to buy — the A model — should have its final set of software codes by early 2016 ….”
- F-35 Tug of War (2): “The Harper government has already spent almost $200,000 on the pan-Canadian promotion of its stealth jet purchase, records show. In a bid to counter opposition to the controversial decision to buy a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, federal officials have organized media events and a cross-country tour to justify the spending and explain why the government felt the need to make the acquisition without going to tenders. Federal documents show the department of National Defence spent $131,519 on travel and hospitality costs to organize one media announcement, a cross-country “outreach tour” and an industry visit to a Lockheed-Martin facility in Texas ….”
- WHAT’S CANADA BUYING? Training CF naval small arms trainers and who’s interested and qualified to refit the HMCS Athabaskan?
- “The 2011 Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security (hosted by the Canadian Defence Association) will be held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Canada, on 24-25 February 2011.”
- You can tell it’s winter in the Rockies when the gunners come out to shoot down snow to prevent avalanches.
- Funny how universities are supposed to be bastions of free speech, expression and association – unless it’s speech, expression or association some don’t like. “University of Toronto students and allies braved the weather on Wednesday to protest a recruitment session for the Department of National Defence hosted by the University’s Career Centre. A petition in circulation since last Saturday has attracted over 300 signatures, among them dozens belonging to faculty members. Signatories included former Canadian Senator the Hon. Lois M. Wilson and renowned scholar, author, and peace advocate Ursula Franklin …. Organizers of Wednesday’s demonstration have called for the University of Toronto administration to declare the campus a military-free zone. They are encouraging the community at large to join them in opposing the planned talk by Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance that the University’s Munk Centre will host on February 15th. The University of Toronto Career Centre has agreed to develop a set of guidelines against which invitations to potential employers can be measured.”
- How Canada is helping out a bit in the Democratic Republic of Congo: “United Nations peacekeepers are making “important headway” on the difficult road towards bringing stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but shortfalls in funds and military equipment are constraining their efforts, a top official said today …. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon”s Special Representative for the DRC, Roger Meece, told the Security Council …. There are …. still significant weaknesses in the military and civilian justice systems, and the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) ” the peacekeeping mission which Mr. Meece heads ” has worked to bolster military prosecution capabilities with support from Canada and the UN Peacebuilding Fund, “but much greater efforts are needed,” Mr. Meece stressed. The Fund, which was set up in 2006 and relies upon voluntary contributions, supports efforts to augment peace and stability in countries emerging from conflict ….”
- Canada’s newest upgraded tanks arrive in Afghanistan to help in (what’s left of) the fight (via Army.ca).
- Another way Canada’s helping in Afghanistan: building secure quarters to protect Afghan public servants. “Two weeks ago, Kandahar deputy governor Abdul Latif Ashna inspected a Canadian project to provide secure homes for 15 Afghan government officials and their families. Exactly one week later the Afghan lead on the Committee to Secure Civil Servants was dead when the car he was riding in was blown up by a suspected suicide bomber on a motorcycle. “Ashna’s death was very poignant,” said Philip Lupul, a Canadian diplomat who worked closely with Mr. Ashna on the housing project, which is to be completed by the end of next month. “He had pointed out some changes that he thought should be made to the houses and we had accepted them. “One of the tragedies of this is that he would certainly have been a candidate for one of these homes. We lost a good friend who was part of this project.” …. “
- “Canada spent more than $41 million on hired guns in Afghanistan over four years, much of it going to security companies slammed by the U.S. Senate for having warlords on the payroll. Both the Defence and Foreign Affairs departments have employed 11 security contractors in Kabul and Kandahar since 2006, but have kept quiet about the details. Now documents tabled in Parliament at the request of the New Democrats provide the first comprehensive picture of the use of private contractors, which have been accused of adding to the chaos in Afghanistan. The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation (link to news release – 105 page, 23 MB PDF report downloadable here) as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.” The company, which has since been taken over by G4S Risk Management, provided security around the Canadian embassy in Kabul and guarded diplomats. Tundra SCA stands on guard for the Defence Department outside Canadian military forward operating bases and has collected more than $5.3 million ….” A bit more on one of the bad boys turned good boys here.
- “A school that’s a hallmark of Canada’s struggle against Afghan insurgents is on the brink of getting rid of some teachers and classes as Ottawa ponders whether to toss a lifeline. The Afghan-Canadian Community Centre, where thousands of girls and women have braved Taliban threats to get an education, needs more than $500,000 by month’s end to avoid severe cutbacks, said Ryan Aldred, who heads a charity that supports the school. Thousands of women, girls and men have learned skills such as how to use computers, start a business or speak English at the centre …. The Canadian International Development Agency has contributed $313,773 to keep the school open, but when Aldred applied for more money in late 2009, CIDA eventually turned him down. “Although approved in principle, the grant was declined in May 2010 due to a ‘lack of resources to support new initiatives’ and ‘the priority currently placed on initiatives that directly support the attainment of (CIDA’s) benchmarks,’ ” Aldred said ….”
- Meanwhile, a wounded warrior says in the reality that is Afghanistan, sometimes a good warlord can help keep a grip on things. “The Canadian Forces have always been pragmatic in who it uses to help the CF in places like Kandahar. White western forces are at a disadvantage in a place where it is incredibly difficult to know who is on first. That’s why warlords and those on the ground are the way to ensure peace. Their troubled past will not make these people go away and in fact Col Toorjan is well known as the protector of the Provincial Reconstruction Team ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Claims of civilian casualties in Kandahar.
- F-35 Watch “With all the buzz around Ottawa about a potential spring election, there remains a drought of hot-button political issues over which the coming campaign will be contested. One exception to this, of course, is the Conservative government’s controversial commitment to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Although no contract has been signed, the Harper Tories remain adamant that they will proceed with the purchase of 65 of the sophisticated aircraft, which, at an initial procurement cost of $9 billion and an estimated $7 billion in future maintenance expenses, makes this the largest military project expenditure in Canada’s history ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? Translation cards (~$47,000 worth) that soldiers can point at when they don’t know the language of the locals (via Army.ca).
- “Canada’s lead weapons treaty negotiator has been removed from his post after American negotiators complained he was “too tough and aggressive” on behalf of Canada in disarmament talks. The Ottawa Citizen has learned that veteran Foreign Affairs arms treaty expert Earl Turcotte has also run afoul of his bosses after apparently objecting to key elements in long-awaited legislation that will see Canada ratify the international Convention on Cluster Munitions. Turcotte, widely respected and often publicly praised at international negotiations for his negotiating skills, has emailed colleagues across the world telling them he will soon resign from Foreign Affairs to independently advocate for the cluster treaty he helped to craft in Dublin in May 2008 ….”
- Members of Canada’s civilian intelligence service are apparently being asked to be more discrete with the swag they can buy in their kit shop. “Canadian spies are being warned not to wear their loyalty on their sleeve — or their wrist or lapel. The hush-hush reminder to employees of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service advises keeping polo shirts, watches and pins emblazoned with the distinctive CSIS crest away from curious eyes. The items are sold in a secret shop tucked away on the lower level of CSIS headquarters in Ottawa, and made available to employees posted elsewhere through the agency’s online memorabilia catalogue. The souvenirs — which also include hoodies, key chains, mugs, pens and plaques — offer members of the intelligence service “a tangible sense of belonging to the organization,” says an internal CSIS article obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. But in keeping with CSIS policy, it seems the stylish spy must be careful to keep the merchandise undercover. “Although the clothing does not display the Service’s acronym, it does feature the emblem,” says the October 2010 publication, parts of which remain classified …. “The policy essentially states that employees should exercise discretion in disclosing employment outside the work environment. Furthermore, employees working in (deleted from document) must be particularly vigilant in concealing their employer or any association with CSIS.” ….”
- Egypt Watch: My guess is that someone with a rank in his title will be boss in Egypt before end of week. “…. Since it would be the army that finally tells Mubarak to leave, the military would dominate the interim regime. They would not want to put yet another general out front, so they might decide that ElBaradei is the right candidate for interim leader, precisely because he has no independent power base ….”
- Canadian Forces’ statistics show 2010 saw fewer deaths, injuries among Canadian troops in Afghanistan than the previous year. More from the Toronto Star here, and some interesting discussion on why those numbers have dropped at Army.ca here.
- On a related note, it’s WELL worth the 16 minutes or so you should spend listening to Postmedia News’ Matthew Fisher talk to TVO host Steve Paikin about how things are going in Afghanistan (good for NATO), why you’re not hearing exactly how it’s going in the mainstream media, and why casualty numbers are dropping.
- Canada has handed the keys (as well as command) of Kandahar’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT) to the United States.
- “He says” on reported collateral damage caused by a recent offensive/rebuilding effort: “A major coalition military operation in a volatile southern Afghan province has caused about 100 million dollars worth of damage to property, a government delegation said Tuesday. President Hamid Karzai dispatched the delegation, led by one of his advisers, to assess damage caused by Operation Omaid, which started in April and aims to root out the Taliban in Kandahar, a traditional heartland areas. The delegation then reported to the Western-backed leader, charging that the damage caused by the military offensive was worth over 100 million dollars, in part due to damage to crops, Karzai’s office said in a statement. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Brigadier-General Josef Blotz said he could not comment as he had not yet seen the statement. “As a result of military operation ‘Omaid’, significant property damage has been caused to the people in Arghandab, Zahri and Panjwayi districts in Kandahar province,” the delegation’s statement said ….”
- “She says” on reported collateral damage caused by a recent offensive/rebuilding effort: “By building a road, Canadian troops may have burned some bridges. The commander of all NATO forces in southern Afghanistan says a major Canadian construction project is partly to blame for a recent slew of property-damage claims. The road Canadian troops are carving through the horn of Panjwaii is part of a much larger military effort in Kandahar province. This week, a delegation of Afghan government officials claimed the offensive has come at an astronomical cost: upwards of $100 million in damaged fruit crops, livestock and property …. The Canadian road cuts through farmers’ fields in a dusty corner of southwestern Kandahar that has long be a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency. Property owners who have found their land bisected by the thoroughfare have sought compensation, said Maj.-Gen. James Terry, who is in charge of the NATO contingent known as Regional Command South. “Some of the claims come from that, in terms of compensation back to the people because of putting that road in,” he said at a news conference in Kandahar city on Thursday. Terry, of the U.S. army’s 10th Mountain Division, pointed out that local elders asked for the road at a meeting, or shura. It will eventually link rural parts of the province and enable commerce ….” More on the road work in question here and here.
- More on the work to close Canada’s Camp Mirage in the UAE (via the CF).
- Remember that committee of politicians looking over all those Afghan detainee documents? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for them (or is it the light of an oncoming train coming)?
- The PM is apparently eyeing a special parliamentary committee to vet top-secret intelligence. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper is considering creating a multi-partisan parliamentary committee to vet the top-secret intelligence gathered by Canada’s national security agencies. Several of Canada’s close allies — including Britain and the United States — have established committees of lawmakers to keep tabs on the operations of their spy agencies. When asked Friday whether he would consider creating a parliamentary intelligence committee, Harper noted that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton have been sworn in as members of the Queen’s Privy Council, a process that allows them to receive sensitive national security intelligence under an oath of secrecy. But the prime minister said the government is looking at ways to broaden Parliament’s involvement. “I know that has been under consideration for some time. I don’t think we’ve yet landed on a particular model that we think would be ideal,” Harper told reporters at a news conference in Welland, Ont ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Almost 20 claimed killed in alleged attacks in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul.
- Canada’s Veterans Affairs Minister hits the road to let veterans know what’s coming to them – more on the road trip from QMI here.
- More on how it’s not necessarily the bureaucrats’ fault that some things happen the way they do at Veterans’ Affairs Canada. “…. Take the Sean Bruyea affair as an example: high level VAC officials briefed Ministers on Bruyea’s personal medical and financial information. Bruyea, involved in protesting the New Veterans’ Charter, found his benefits cut and claims stalled. There were even attempts by Veterans’ Affairs to have Sean commit himself to a mental hospital. All this came to light last fall. What did the government do? Apologise, settle Bruyea’s court case, and require all Veterans’ Affairs staff to undergo privacy training. The message? VAC staff messed up and we’ll make sure they know better. Implied course of events: the frontline staff was upset by Bruyea’s lobbying and tried to take him down …. Here’s an alternative scenario: Bruyea ruffles feathers in the upper echelon of Veteran’s Affairs – the Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Orders are sent down: pull Bruyea’s files. Files are reviewed, annotated, and included in briefing notes (all of which has been confirmed). Decisions are taken to “take the gloves off” with Bruyea, after which Sean’s descent into the nightmare begins. Who can make such a decision or issue such an order? Not the people answering the phones ….”
- QMI Ottawa bureau boss David Akin manages to see the forest in the midst of the trees. “…. Simply put: Our Canadian Forces needs billions and billions of dollars worth of new gear — not just new fighter planes — but no one has any clear plans to pay for what they need, particularly in a time of global fiscal restraint. Alternately, one party or the other could stand up and, as Conservatives have done in Britain and Democrats did in the U.S., start announcing big-time cuts to military acquisitions and other programs. Instead, we’ve been watching Conservatives and Liberals argue bitterly about the merits of purchasing the F-35 fighter plane, though both largely agree we will need some kind of new fighter plane to replace our fleet of excellent-but-aging CF-18s. Whatever plane we choose is going to cost us billions. How will we pay? And is that most urgent need? Is that the top spending priority? ….”
- Potential base closures are always publicly contentious because of how much money such facilities pump into neighbouring economies. As part of a strategic review of the military overall, a Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) paper ranks Canada’s military bases according to their “operational impact, infrastructure condition and efficiency, and economic impact”. The list, the paper’s executive summary and a link to the paper itself are all here (as well as always interesting discussion) at Army.ca.
- It’s still messy in Ivory Coast, where one guy says he won the election for president, and the other says he’s still president. Here’s how one academic says Canada could help: “….First, it should mobilize like-minded states to impose travel bans and freeze assets of Mr. Gbagbo’s family and close associates. Second, it should lead efforts to move Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of the Nov. 28 presidential runoff who is under siege in a hotel in Abidjan, to Yamoussoukro, the capital, where he seems to have the backing of the local political establishment …. Third, Canada should work with other governments to press the African Union to give Mr. Gbagbo a deadline to step down or face comprehensive economic sanctions …. And fourth, Canada should help Mr. Ouattara to form his government by encouraging financial institutions such as the West African Monetary Union, the African Development Bank and the World Bank to deal with him ….”
- Remember the young guy masked as an old guy who flew to Canada from Hong Kong last October? Well, he may have been one of nine Chinese smuggled here, according to Hong Kong authorities. The good news: some arrests have been made in Hong Kong – a bit more from Hong Kong media here, here and here.
- Guess what? Canada’s keeping 950 military trainers and support staff (as well as about four dozen cops) in Afghanistan until 2014: “…. The Canadian Forces (CF) will support ANSF training by providing up to 950 trainers to the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan (NTM-A). This training mission will build upon the CF’s established expertise in training the ANSF, thereby contributing to the goal of preparing Afghans to assume responsibility for their own security …. Through the deployment of up to 45 civilian police officers, Canada will continue its involvement in police reform by leading training programs, promoting the establishment of accountability and civilian oversight mechanisms, and advancing institutional reform and capacity building ….” Surprising, eh? More on that from QMI/Sun Media, the New York Times, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and BBC.
- What does this mean for the Canadian-led and run Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PDF copy of page here if link doesn’t work? This from the Globe & Mail: “Canada is slashing aid to Afghanistan and abandoning any presence in Kandahar by withdrawing not only troops but civilian aid officials next year. Despite the approval of a new training mission, the moves mark a turning point where Canada is significantly disengaging from Afghanistan: dramatically reducing the outlay of cash, reducing the risk to troops, and quitting the war-scarred southern province where Canada has led military and civilian efforts. There will be a deep cut to aid for Afghanistan. International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said Canada will provide $100-million a year in development assistance for Afghanistan over the next three years, less than half the $205-million the government reported spending last year ….”
- According to Postmedia News, late decision on new mission = rush to get ready for it.
- Notice who’s name is listed first on the news release? Not Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay but Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. Also, while Cannon got to answer questions in the House of Commons on the mission this week (Hansard transcripts here, here and here), Peter MacKay took a question on the F-35 fighter plane buy. Yesterday, the PM fielded two questions (here and here) on Afghanistan, while McKay fiielded one question from a fellow Conservative party member (here). Some see this as further proof that Peter MacKay may be on his way out (he says not so), but the government has been trying to civilianize the feel of the mission for at least the past couple of years – more on that theme here, here and here.
- The Foreign Affairs Minister reminds us of the obvious, via CTV.ca: “…. Cannon said the “non-combat” troops will be based in the Kabul area. However, Cannon admitted that soldiers would still be in danger, despite the relative security in Kabul compared to the current operation in Kandahar. “I am not going to hide the fact that there is a risk factor,” Cannon told CTV’s Power Play. “(But) our people will not be mentoring in the field, they will be in classrooms.” ….”
- Who’s happy? “The White House and the NATO military alliance applauded Canada’s plan for a military training mission in Afghanistan Tuesday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper assured opposition parties that the armed forces will work safely “in classrooms behind the wire on bases.” ….” Here’s what NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had to say: “I warmly welcome Prime Minister Harper’s announcement that Canada will deploy a substantial number of trainers to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Canada has contributed substantially, over many years, to the operation in Afghanistan. Canadian forces have made a real difference in the lives of the Afghan people, often at a high cost ….” More from the Canadian Press on that.
- Who’s unhappy? The usual suspects: “…. The NDP again accused the Conservatives of lying, saying it was “inevitable” that the 950-strong training contingent that will be in Afghanistan until 2014 would be drawn into combat because the whole of Afghanistan is a “war zone.” ….” The rabble.ca brigade has already come up with the rhyming chant: “Activism Communiqué: The war in Af’stan, demand – Don’t Extend It. End It!” Ceasefire.ca pipes in, too, comparing Afghanistan to Vietnam: “Unaddressed by the ministers is whether the government really believes in the training mission it has committed Canadian troops to fulfill. No one seriously expects Afghanistan’s army and police forces to be ready to hold off the Taliban on their own in four years’ time. But it is still unclear whether NATO’s efforts to Vietnamize Afghanize the war are intended merely to provide a face-saving way for foreign forces to withdraw from a dead-end war or remain based on the illusory prospect of creating an ARVN ANA that can hold the field against the Taliban even in the south of Afghanistan ….”
- It didn’t take long for the “Survey Says” crowd to get its numbers out there – this from Harris-Decima: “Canadians Wary of Extension to Afghanistan Mission: The latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima survey asked about the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. According to Senior Vice-President Doug Anderson “At this point in time, Canadians are split over whether to leave troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of the combat mission. While few feel that the combat mission should be extended, there is clearly some support for Canadian troops continuing to play some role.” ….” More on that from the Canadian Press.
- Blog Watch: Congrats from Mark Collins at Unambiguously Ambidextrous for those rating it here, while Terry Glavin at Transmontanus shares his words of wisdom this way: “…. The two-year paralysis that so utterly enfeebled Canada in the matter of this country’s post-2011 re-dedication to Afghanistan is now officially over. Ottawa has come out of its coma, and now rejoins the company of the grown-ups in the 43-member International Security Assistance Force. With today’s announcement, we take our place once again as a leader in the international cause of a sovereign and democratic Afghan republic ….”
- Meanwhile, the transition continues on the ground in Afghanistan: “A scouting party from the NATO unit that could replace Canadian troops in Kandahar will be touring the area over the next few days. Planning for the departure of Task Force Kandahar is underway and a proposal on how the transition will take place is still being finalized, a senior U.S. officer with the alliance’s southern headquarters said Tuesday. The Canadians “are in a critical location,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was authorized to discuss the situation on background only. “We’ve got to make sure that area is still covered, and covered well.” ….”
- The CF is working towards setting up a research institute devoted to studying military medicine. More from the Kingston-Whig Standard on a conference under way this week: “…. That the military is taking the initiative seriously can be seen by the list of people attending, including Gen. Walt Natynczyk, the chief of the defence staff, senators Romeo Dallaire and Pamela Wallin, veterans affairs ombudsman Guy Parent, and (Commodore Hans) Jung, the military’s top medical officer. “We are the only nation amongst our major allies that does not have such a national institute,” (former CFB Kingston base commander and Kingston General Hospital chairman Bill) Richard said, a fact lamented by many of the high-profile attendees. The military would love universities to dig through its wealth of data — it has comprehensive medical records on everyone who ever served from the day they enlisted to the day they discharged and keeps the records 99 years, but Jung said only 5% of that data has been analyzed because it doesn’t have enough people to do it ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: The Taliaban’s main English-language site appears to be down, so there’s the Taliban’s Lies o’ the Day via theunjustmedia.com.
NOTE: This material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof. Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content – it is shared for information only. When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original – this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:43 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – At least 15 US invaders were killed and wounded last night in Arghandab’s Char Bagh area after 6 mines simultaneously detonated on their foot patrol at 09:00 pm. Locals from the area say that due to the powerful blasts. The invaders limbs and equipment is still lying in the surrounding areas.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:43 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – Reports arriving from Shawali Kot district say that at 02:00 pm, US invaders along with their puppets wanted to carry out an operation in Kobat Village when they came under fierce Mujahideen attacks. Reports add that after taking on casualties, the invaders ordered air strikes but instead of targeting Mujahideen, the bombers hit ANA puppets as a result 12 were instantly killed and tens of others were seriously wounded. Mujahideen say that the fighting lasted all day but at the end the invaders and their puppets fled the area by helicopters.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:20 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – At least 5 ANA puppets were killed onboard their vehicle when it was destroyed by a roadside bomb in Dand’s Bilandi area at 02:00 pm this afternoon. In another incident, at least 2 US invaders were killed and 1 wounded in Zhiri’s Sanzari area when an IED detonated on their foot patrol.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:19 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – 4 ANA puppets were killed 04:30 pm today when 82mm canon round landed on them while they were standing in front of their check post located in Piryano area of Shah Wali Kot district.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:18 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – At least 3 US invaders along with their puppet translator were killed at 10:00 am when an IED, which was hanging from a tree detonated on their foot patrol in Charbagh area.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:21 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – A clerk working for PRT was shot dead by Mujahideen at 01:00 pm in Kabul Shah area of Kandahar city center.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:42 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – Reports from Kandahar city say that at 08:00 am this morning, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate attacked a NATO logistical supply convoy in Bypass area of Kandahar city. It is said that 8 supply vehicles were destroyed and set on fire and that all the puppets onboard were killed, some of their corpses are still lying at the scene.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 17:18 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Oct. 14 – An IED ripped through a US invaders tank, killing and wounding all terrorists onboard in Takht Pol (Shiga) districts Mula Yad desert at 04:00 pm local time.
Thursday, 14 October 2010 11:57 –
The UN Security Council has once again issued a resolution, extending the unjustified foreign invasion in the country for one more year as it allowed aggression against the miserable Afghanistan nine years ago, by interpreting and explaining anew, article 7 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Similarly, the UNSC has raised the issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in its recent statements and has put the blame on the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate in an effort to please Washington. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes, the resolutions and decisions of the Security Council are the main cause behind the current nine-years long tragedy and the flames of war in Afghanistan, therefore, the Islamic Emirate, as usual, condemns the recent decision of the Security Council.
The I.E. is of the opinion that the one-sided stand of UNSC is a great and unforgettable betrayal with the miserable people of Afghanistan. It is pity that the UNSC, as a universal body, adds fuel to the flames of war and gives legitimacy to the extension of the mission while it should have worked for world security and human prosperity.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes the UNSC‘s judgment about civilian casualties in Afghanistan is partial and biased. The Islamic Emirate on its part and for elucidation of the matter, has called on all human rights organizations and entities to constitute a joint comprehensive team to carry out impartial survey in the whole country and declare the realties but unfortunately, the world’s organizations, particularly, the UNSC, instead of conducting investigation into the matter, passes decision that do not stand on facts. It seems the UNSC wants to distract the attention of the public of the world from the ground realities in Afghanistan by its resorting to blind judgments and accusations.
In our view, the UNSC, on the basis of its principles, should not contribute to the prolongation of war in Afghanistan by passing such decisions but should work for ending the war and occupation in the country by using its caliber. This will restore its lost credibility and meanwhile, save the Afghans from the fire of the unjustified and imposed war.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
NOTE: This material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof. Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content – it is shared for information only. When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original – this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:45 Q.M Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, May 26 – As many as 35 Afghan and US-NATO soldiers took losses of life and injuries with more than 170 vehicles and motorcycles destroyed as a van filled with explosives detonated in the parking area of PRT building on Wednesday noon, May 26, 2010. The massive explosion, during the major countrywide operation al-Fath, which rocked the whole city, comes as several Afghan and foreign officials were meeting in the PRT building in Kandahar city to discuss some of their matters. The PRT building, where a large number of Afghans and Americans are stationed, is reported to have completely flattened. Wednesday’s incident, which comes after the bloodiest incidents of Kabul, Bagram and Paktia is one of the most successful and tactical attacks of its kind, causing the enemy deadliest losses and severest damages.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 18:19 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, May 26 – A roadside bomb explosion tore through a group of American foot patrol Tuesday in Garmsir district of Helmand, killing or wounding some six American cowardly invaders; whereas, the Americans sustained further losses in an attack from Mujahideen following the incident.
Thursday, 27 May 2010 00:00 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, May 26 – Mujahideen of the of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in separate clashes with Afghan and US-NATO cowardly troops in Helmand’s Gerishk district, have killed about about six domestic and foreign soldiers in addition to wounding 7 more through much of Wednesday (May 26). No Mujahideen have been harmed during the clashes, whereas Mujahideen have seized some arms and ammo from the possession of the enemy in the fighting.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:49 Q.M Ahmadi
HELMAND, May 26 – One of the coaltions’ tanks got hit and destroyed in the bombing while traveling in convoy in Lashkar Gah city, the capital of Helmand, on Tuesday.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:48 Q.M Ahmadi
HELMAND, May 26 – on Wednesday, Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, in a one-hour long confrontation with the British cowardly forces in Helmand’s Gerishk district, killed one Briton and wounded two more, the report said, adding that no Mujahideen were harmed during the fighting. In another report from Helmand province, a blast in Sangin district of the province hit and destroyed one of the coalitions’ tanks, killing all the foreign soldiers.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 18:19 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
HELMAND, May 26 – On later Tuesday (May 25), a blast in Helmand’s Nowzad district struck and destroyed a coalitions’ tank killing 2 foreign soldiers besides wounding another two, Mujahideen officials said. Similarly, 2 foreign soldiers were killed with four more badly hurt in a mine blast they were trying to neutralize on Monday in the same area of Nowzad district. Also Monday, a blast in Musa Kala district of this province targeted a coaltions’ tank, killing all the foreign soldiers in the tank.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 23:59 Zabihullah Mujahid
ZABUL, May 26 – About 3 missiles landed inside the district center of Nowbahar district of Zabul province on Wednesday morning, likely to have inflicted heavy losses and damages on the enemy.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:49 Q.M Ahmadi
ZABUL, May 26 – In the early morning hours of Wednesday (May 26), Mujahideen carried out missiles attack on the US-NATO base in Atghar district of Zabul, likely to have caused deadly losses to the enemy, but it is, so far, unclear how many have been killed or injured in the attack.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 18:24 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
ZABUL, May 26 – A roadside bomb in Zabul’s Swery district hit and destroyed Tuesday (May 26) killing two policemen and wounding three more.
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
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<<