MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 1 Dec 11

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 29 May 11

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – 10 Nov 10

  • Guess how bad guys could start coming into Canada? This, from the Canadian Press“The chilling prospect of terrorists or other extremists exploiting the Canadian Arctic has attracted the watchful eye of federal security agencies. A newly declassified intelligence assessment, obtained by The Canadian Press, raises the spectre of the North as a conduit for international or domestic radicals. “In recent years, vessels with links to human smuggling, drug trafficking, and organized crime have attempted to access the Canadian Arctic,” says the report. The assessment was prepared by the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, which includes representatives of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP and other agencies ….”
  • In keeping with Remembrance Day coming tomorrow, there’s media talk of how to remember the sacrifices of Afghanistan vets – this from CBC.ca“…. Will we make the same mistake as many Americans did after the Vietnam War and treat the veterans of our first lost war with backs turned and a public monument that took years of controversy to bring to fruition? ….” Here’s one example of how those who served and died are honoured in Petawawa, again via CBC.ca.
  • Young Canadian film-makers have learned war is about young people this, from Postmedia News“Most Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been young men in their 20s.  Brendon Culliton, the director of a documentary film about the death of one of them, 22-year-old Lebanese-Canadian trooper Marc Diab <links to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial>, is equally young.  Culliton, 23, and co-director Dan Heald, 22, both of London, Ont., say the making of the film, If I Should Fall, took them on an educational journey about life and death and the military ….”  (YouTube video preview here)
  • Hell, if you believe this Pakistani media outlet, the troops are staying:  Canada’s government has agreed to keep 750 military trainers in Afghanistan until 2014, a pledge of support which may help plug a critical shortage of 900 trainers for NATO’s year-old mission to bolster Afghan security forces ….” Better read the stories your copy-catting a bit more closely, folks.
  • An interesting take on the possibility of Canadians continuing to train Afghan security forces, from, of all outlets, the Toronto Star – this from columnist Rosie DiManno“…. Military mentors always accompany the troops, on patrol and into combat. They may oversee from the rear but they move to the front when the enemy is engaged or an operation turns sketchy. To impose a wire barricade on Canadian soldiers is an absurdity. To sell an extension of our Afghanistan deployment to the Canadian public on these terms would be a lie. Our soldiers have always fought from the front. Our duck-and-cover politicians could take a lesson from them.”
  • My guess:  IF the PM agrees to a continued training role for Canadian troops, and IF he continues the “no combat” caveat, the training is going to be done outside Kandahar (to meet the wording of the March 2008 resolution of parliament) and inside the wire.  More along those lines from the Globe and Mail“…. Afghanistan will only be safe if the Afghan National Police and Army are dominant enough for the Karzai government to set the terms of negotiations. Afghans hold their security institutions in high regard (92 per cent think the ANA is honest and fair), but they need outside help. Canadians have been providing that, in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar. The experience has given Canadians perhaps the best sense, of all NATO forces, of how Afghanistan security forces can help do nation-building, fight the Taliban, and defend their own people in the field. So a Canadian training force of 750 military trainers and around 200 support staff in Kabul would make a meaningful contribution at less risk to us ….”
  • How about letting Parliament vote on whether Canada stays to train troops?  Uh, not so fast, according to U of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé (followable on Twitter as @pmlagasse ), as quoted by Postmedia News: “I’m certainly in favour of rigorous debate in the House of Commons and I do think that it’s obligatory for the government to present to the Commons any change in the mission and what it plans to do …. That being said, I think it’s problematic that we’re holding these votes in the House and making it seem that it’s the House that decides whether or not the military is deployed.”
  • Counterpoint?  This from historian Jack Granatstein, via the Globe & Mail “…. As Mackenzie King also understood, no substantial Canadian force should ever be deployed abroad without a vote of Parliament. Representing the people of Canada, Parliament must decide before our soldiers go abroad to fight or even to keep the peace.” (Hat tip to Mark C for this one)
  • How do we give dismounted troops another way to check things out ahead of them?  Why not mini-helicopters with cameras transmitting images back to a remote station? Canada’s military research arm is looking into the idea.
  • Just in case you think the Taliban’s the good guy in Afghanistan, this from ISAF“Despite senior Taliban leadership claims of protecting civilians, insurgent fighters were responsible for more than one hundred Afghan civilian deaths and over two hundred injuries during the month of October ….”
  • Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Uruzgan, Zabul.