Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 84

Thread: Afghanistan: Canadians in Action

  1. #21
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Welcome.

    Thanks for the post and the links.

  2. #22
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    717

    Default The Same, But Different

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Shannon View Post
    The key to understanding "transformation" in the Canadian sense is that it was never intended to produce increased combat power or readiness. It was designed to kick out ad hoc battle groups for scheduled missions along the lines of SFOR in Bosnia while at the least maintaining the size and rank structure of the regular officer corps. For example the notion of having fewer full strength infantry battalions capable of rapid deployment was rejected in favour of maintaining skeletal units in order to retain the original number of command slots. The result being large scale augmentation of task forces going overseas by people plucked from other units and HQs, all of whom have to start training from scratch.

    Inter-service, regimental and language group politics exacerbate the problems of organizing the CF and attempts by the Hillier, the CDS, to mimic US military organizations, with their much greater economies of scale, have only made things worse.
    Much the same sort of thing (minus most of the shiny new kit - and leaders who actually stood up to the politicos, like Hillier does - I wonder who will succeed him?) was going on in the 90's (The "Total Force/New Army" bit). No matter what other intentions are at work, as good as they are, preserving career officer slots in the CF almost always seems to overshadow things. Back then, three Regular infantry battalions were reduced to nil strength, except for the 10% who remained and manned the Bn HQ, and the other 90% were Reservists. When the Army nearly broke down under the stress of cuts at home and heavy overseas deployments (some "Regular" battalions in Yugo were composed of up to two-thirds Reservists, especially when the worst of the fighting and harassment was going on in '92 to '94), and the Airborne was disbanded (well, except for 3 Cdo), those three Regular infantry battalions were restored.

    Funny thing was, despite having all these officer slots that they'd preserved during the lean years, the Army had to go out and try to recruit a whole pile new officers (and entice a lot of Reserve officers to go into the Regular Army), because they couldn't hold on to so many of the officers for whom they had gone out of their way to preserve places for. A lot of guys (Commissioned and Non-Commissioned) just weren't going to abide by the culture and the rules of the "New Army", and they got out. They took a large chunk of the Army's fighting skill and know-how with them when they did. Now, we've spent the last half-decade trying to reacquire those lost skills, as well as add new ones, and recruit people who will fit into the "Transformed Army".

    Hopefully, we'll get it more or less right this time. But the "expensive hired help" syndrome is a chronic condition in the Canadian military, and it has always amounted to a, if not always the, principle consideration for the organization of the force structure of the Canadian Army. I mean, look at a rifle company nowadays: it has fewer riflemen now than it had over a decade ago, but back then it just had 2 officers (excluding atts) at Coy HQ (OC and 2i/c); now it needs 3 (with the addition of a Battle Captain that the LAVs require - didn't need that with M-113s). In the Canadian Army, officers are not intended to fill unit command and staff posts, it seems; rather, troops and equipment are "attached" or "assigned" to an organization of officers to form units that deploy into the field. I'm not even going to touch higher levels here.
    Last edited by Norfolk; 10-05-2007 at 04:26 PM.

  3. #23
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default CAN Panel to Assess AFG Mission Options

    Prime Minister Harper announces independent advisory panel on Afghan mission
    Government of Canada news release, 12 Oct 07
    News release - PM's speaking notes

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the creation of the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan. The panel’s role will be to advise Parliament on options for the mission after the current mandate ends in February, 2009.

    “I am pleased to announce the formation of an independent panel of eminent Canadians who will consider our options and provide expert non-partisan advice that will help parliamentarians make our decision,” said the Prime Minister.

    Chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley, the panel will examine four main options, while not excluding others:

    1. Continue training the Afghan army and police so Canada can begin withdrawing its forces in February 2009;
    2. Focus on reconstruction and have forces from another country take over security in Kandahar;
    3. Shift Canadian security and reconstruction effort to another region in Afghanistan;
    4. Withdraw all Canadian military except a minimal force to protect aid workers and diplomats.

    The panel, which is to report to the Prime Minister and the Canadian public at the end of January 2008, is expected to conduct its deliberations while keeping in mind the sacrifices Canadians have made to date in Afghanistan, the potential for deterioration in security and development, Canada’s obligations to NATO and the United Nations, and the implications for Canada’s international reputation.

    In addition to Mr. Manley, the panel includes former federal Cabinet Minister Jake Epp, former Clerk of the Privy Council Paul Tellier, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States Derek Burney, and Pamela Wallin, former Canadian Consul General in New York City.

    “These individuals represent a wealth of experience in foreign affairs and each one of them has demonstrated their commitment to Canada through years of public service,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I have no doubt they will examine the issues honestly, fairly, and expertly, and offer wise, impartial counsel that will help Parliamentarians and all Canadians choose the right course for Canada in Afghanistan.”
    While many observers online seem comfortable with the idea, some are, at this point, underwhelmed.

    Of interest is the fact that the Chair of the team, John Manley, was a Deputy Prime Minister for the Liberal Party, not the party of the current Prime Minister.

    Another interesting tidbit: the chair of the new panel recently wrote about the AFG mission in a policy journal, "Policy Options" (.pdf) - the executive summary:
    "The author first visited Afghanistan as Canada’s foreign minister following the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2002. Five years later, John Manley returned to Kabul and its environs as a private citizen and a director of CARE Canada, one of the leading NGOs working to rebuild that shattered country. In this view from the ground, as part of our continuing Mission Afghanistan series, Manley writes that security remains “the major issue, including for NGOs.” But while the “promise of 2002 has thus far been unrealized in the establishment of a true system of rule of law and sustainable Afghan institutions,” he also found measurable progress, including “programs in housing, micro-credit, infrastructure and community evelopment.”
    Another interesting highlight from Manley's article:
    .... there is no possible way to separate the development or humanitarian mission from the military one. There can be no meaningful progress on development without an improved security environment.
    More, here...

  4. #24
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default CAN Gov't Wants to Extend AFG Mission, But....

    On October 16, Canada's Governor General (the Head of State) delivered the Government's Speech from the Throne (.pdf), laying out the proposed legislative agenda of the ruling Conservative Party of Canada led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (the head of government).

    Following an opening recognizing the service of members of the Canadian Forces:

    I would like to address the first words in this chamber to the members of the Canadian Forces, some of whom are present here today. Their commitment and courage in the name of justice, equality and freedom—whose benefits are not accorded to all peoples in the world—are worthy of our utmost respect...
    Part of Governor General Michaëlle Jean's speech dealing with sovereignty and security, which would have to be approved by the government before it was delivered, covered Canada's commitments to Afghanistan:

    Nowhere is Canada making a difference more clearly than in Afghanistan. Canada has joined the United Nations-sanctioned mission in Afghanistan because it is noble and necessary. Canadians understand that development and security go hand in hand. Without security, there can be no humanitarian aid, no reconstruction and no democratic development. Progress will be slow, but our efforts are bearing fruit. There is no better measure of this progress than the four million Afghan boys and two million girls who can dream of a better future because they now go to school.

    The Canadian Forces mission has been approved by Parliament until February 2009, and our Government has made clear to Canadians and our allies that any future military deployments must also be supported by a majority of parliamentarians. In the coming session, members will be asked to vote on the future of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. This decision should honour the dedication and sacrifice of Canada’s development workers, diplomats and men and women in uniform. It should ensure that progress in Afghanistan is not lost and that our international commitments and reputation are upheld.

    Our Government does not believe that Canada should simply abandon the people of Afghanistan after February 2009. Canada should build on its accomplishments and shift to accelerate the training of the Afghan army and police so that the Afghan government can defend its own sovereignty. This will not be completed by February 2009, but our Government believes this objective should be achievable by 2011, the end of the period covered by the Afghanistan Compact. Our Government has appointed an independent panel to advise Canadians on how best to proceed given these considerations.
    The bolded sentences in this section of the Speech from the Throne drew attention because this suggests that the government may have already decided on what it will propose as Canada's role in Afghanistan after its combat mandate in Kandahar expires in February 2009. Some observers say this may already be laying out the government's preferred option in spite of an independent review panel being set up to assess options for the mission. That panel is expected to have options ready for the end of January 2008.

  5. #25
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default More on CAN's "What Happens Next?" Panel

    Some more details on the blue ribbon panel:

    Globe & Mail: Panel will visit AFG (but hold no public hearings)

    Globe & Mail: Panel chair receiving $1,400/day per diem

    CanadianChristianity.com: Interesting links between one panel member and faith-based NGO providing aid in AFG

  6. #26
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Canadians in Afghanistan - combat vid

    Sure others have seen this before, but a good video here of Canadian troops in action in Afghanistan in 2006.

  7. #27
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan

    In the fall, Canada's (Conservative) government established a non-partisan panel, head by former (Liberal) foreign minister John Manley, to make recommendations as to Canada's future role in Afghanistan.

    That report is now out, and can be found here:

    Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan

    The key military recommendation is as follows:

    2. Canada should continue with its responsibility for security in Kandahar beyond February 2009, in a manner fully consistent with the UN mandate on Afghanistan, including its combat role, but with increasing emphasis on training the Afghan National Security Forces expeditiously to take lead responsibility for security in Kandahar and Afghanistan as a whole. As the Afghan National Security Forces gain capability, Canada’s combat role should be significantly reduced.

    •This commitment is contingent on the assignment of an additional battle
    group (of about 1,000 soldiers) to Kandahar by NATO and/or other allies
    before February 2009.
    Frankly--while I don't disagree with most of the conclusions--I'm unimpressed with the report's analysis of the military COIN challenges, and even less impressed with its assessment of the political and developmental components of stabilization. A great many of the recommendations fall into the "yes, but how?" or "easier said than done" category, such as:

    c. Forceful representations with Afghanistan’s neighbours, in particular with Pakistan, to reduce the risks posed to regional stability and security by recent developments in that country; and

    d. Concerted efforts by the Afghan government to improve governance by
    tackling corruption and ensuring basic services to the Afghan people, and
    pursuing some degree of political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

  8. #28
    Council Member franksforum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oakton, VA
    Posts
    23

    Default Manley Report on Canada in Afghanistan

    The report can be found in PDF format at this link:

    http://www.independent-panel-indepen...port_web_e.pdf

  9. #29
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Canada threatens to pull soldiers from Afghanistan

    OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will pull its 2,500 troops out of Afghanistan early next year unless NATO sends in significant reinforcements...

    The minority Conservative government wants the soldiers to stay beyond their current withdrawal date of February 2009 but in another potential threat to the mission, the main opposition Liberal Party expressed doubts about the idea of an extension.

    Harper, who is exasperated at the refusal of many other NATO nations to commit more troops to Afghanistan, said the Alliance's failure to provide enough forces meant the whole future of the organization was under serious threat.

    Harper said he accepted the recommendations of an independent panel which last week urged Canada to end its mission in the southern city of Kandahar unless NATO provided an extra 1,000 troops and Ottawa obtained helicopters and aerial reconnaissance vehicles.

    "Both of those recommendations will have to be fulfilled or Canada will not proceed with the mission in Afghanistan. We believe these are essential to our success."
    More at the link
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  10. #30

  11. #31
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,099

    Default

    Legion Magazine, 2 Apr 08: The Afghanistan Commitment
    It is decision time for Canada’s political and military leaders. And it is no easy question they have to answer. Indeed, it is a decision that could cost many lives. The question is this: what role will Canada next take on in NATO’s effort to stabilize Afghanistan?

    With the end of Canada’s three-year commitment to its leading role in Kandahar province coming up in early 2009, Ottawa has in recent months been buzzing with debate about what should happen next.

    While there are many options—everything from continuing the current combat role to complete withdrawal—the most often mentioned new role is one focused on the softer side of the mission, particularly the delivery of aid, reconstruction and the training of Afghan forces.....

  12. #32
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default Canadian Reporter Freed in Kabul....

    ....after being kidnapped four weeks ago without the media saying anything about it. Highlight mine - shared for research and discussion purposes only.

    Abducted CBC journalist released in Afghanistan
    CBC.ca, 8 Nov 08

    CBC journalist Mellissa Fung was released to Canadian officials in Kabul on Saturday, four weeks after she was abducted.

    Fung was taken by armed men who approached her in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul on Oct. 12.

    The journalist, who was stationed at the NATO military base in Kandahar but was visiting the Kabul-area camp to report on a story, was then taken to the mountains west of the Afghan capital.

    Fung, normally based in Regina, was on her second assignment to Afghanistan.

    As news of her release emerged on Saturday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that she was in good health and undergoing a medical examination.

    News of the abduction had been kept secret over concerns about her safety.

    "In the interest of Mellissa's safety and that of other working journalists in the region, on the advice of security experts, we made the decision to ask media colleagues not to publish news of her abduction," CBC News publisher John Cruickshank said. "All of the efforts made by the security experts were focused on Mellissa’s safe and timely release."


    "Fung's family was in daily contact with the team at CBC that was trying to negotiate this and help this go forward to the successful conclusion," said CBC journalist Susan Ormiston, who has also filed stories from Afghanistan.

    Ormiston said several other reporters have gone into the same camp where Fung was taken. Fung was visiting the camp for internally displaced people to report on refugees who have streamed back into Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran.

    "It's a difficult situation. It's a management of risk all the time, and it's something that we journalists do on a regular basis," she said ....

    More on linked title, or here via the Europe Media Monitor aggregator.

  13. #33
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default Canada's AFG Cdr: Deepen Security, Hit "Safe Havens" in Winter

    Canada's TF Afghanistan commander shares some of his plans for the winter - highlights are mine.

    Task Force Kandahar ready for winter
    BGen Denis Thompson, Maple Leaf magazine, 3 Dec 08
    Article link - .pdf permalink
    Over the last few weeks, there has been a change in the air here in Kandahar Province. Clouds are appearing in the sky, the temperatures are approaching what Canadians might actually consider habitable, and we even had a brief rain shower a few mornings ago. All this means one thing: winter is coming – and so is a shift in our approach to operations here in Kandahar.

    On our deployment to date, we’ve faced some interesting challenges and had successes that we don’t hear enough about.

    This summer, we were able to significantly disrupt the insurgents’ command and control network. Many of their mid- and senior-level commanders were neutralized, including several key improvised explosive device (IED) experts. We also seized multiple IED facilities, weapons caches and supply nodes. Eliminating their leadership and disrupting their supply lines has a lasting effect on insurgents’ ability to operate in the province.

    Afghan National Security Forces continue to make progress. One of our mentored kandaks [battalions] is assessed to have the highest level of operational readiness of any in the country. This unit is now conducting successful operations in Helmand Province, where the insurgents’ ploy to seize Lashkar Gah was soundly repulsed. This is reminiscent of the Afghan National Army’s quick victory over insurgents in the Arghanda, and another indicator of their growing operational capability.

    The Afghan National Police is starting from further behind, but are making substantial progress as well. Of note is the fact that Kandahar City enjoyed relative calm during Independence Day celebrations, Ramadan, Eid, and several recent gatherings in and near the city. The big problem, of course, has been the recent spate of assassinations and attacks but, apparently, [Afghan] National Directorate of Security has recently arrested three individuals believed responsible for several of these murders.

    Task Force Kandahar is focussing on two things.

    First, we’re going to deepen the level of security in key areas in Kandahar Province, where the majority of the population resides – Kandahar City, the districts of Dand, Daman and Arghandab, and portions of Zharey and Panjwayi. Our aim is to increase local perception of security in these areas, and set the conditions for economic growth and reconstruction and development work.

    Second, we’re going to take the fight to the insurgents in areas they consider to be “safe havens”. We have a distinct advantage in that we can continue to conduct operations throughout the cold winter months, while the insurgents are typically limited in the scope of their activities. In the past, many fled to Pakistan during the winter season, but increased anti-insurgent operations along the border region are making this less attractive. Our intent, therefore, is to deny the insurgents the ability to rest, re-supply, and reconstitute their leadership in Kandahar Province this winter. Doing this will force them further from population centres, limit their ability to conduct large-scale operations, and make it increasingly difficult for them to terrorize the population.

    Members of Task Force Kandahar put forth an excellent effort on a daily basis. They are making a difference here, in spite of difficult conditions, and Canadians have every reason to be very proud.

  14. #34
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default Canadian General: Heating up in 2009, cooling down by 2010?

    First I've seen anyone be so specific - thoughts?

    Canadian commander sees Afghan conflict peaking in 2009
    GRAEME SMITH, Globe and Mail, 16 Dec 08
    Article link
    KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — After years of bloody escalations in the Afghan war, the violence will finally start to subside in 2010, according to an unusually bold prediction by a top Canadian commander.

    Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, responsible for all overseas forces and widely viewed as the most experienced military official on Afghan issues, said he believes an influx of U.S. troops next year will bring a new surge in the violence.

    But 2009 will mark an historic peak in the conflict, the commander said, and the level of bloodshed will start to decrease the following year as Afghanistan's government and security forces become strong enough to handle the situation.

    “There will be decreased violence in 2010, and increased capacity naturally, especially where we're focused,” he said, referring to Canada's zone of operations in Kandahar.

    Many analysts have predicted the Afghan war will grow next year, as thousands of U.S. forces are expected to challenge the Taliban's increasing hold on the country. Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette, NATO's chief spokesman, said recently that he expects greater conflict in 2009.

    But the comments from Lieut.-Gen. Gauthier mark the first declaration of Canada's expectations of the results that will be achieved in the next season of fighting. It's a public expression of what other military officials have been saying in private, a “no pain, no gain” philosophy that describes a bigger war as necessary in the short term to achieve progress in the medium term.... (more on link)
    A bit more from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation here.

  15. #35
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Two Friedman units?
    That looks like we're really far, far away from success there.

  16. #36
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    156

    Default A bit more....

    ...via Canadian Press:
    ....As many as 20,000 additional U.S. troops are expected to bolster the American ranks by this coming spring - something that's bound to result in an increase in clashes with the Taliban, he noted.

    "I think in the early going, with the large influx of U.S. troops, there will be more violence, just as there was more violence this year compared to last year because we have twice the number of combat troops," Gauthier said.

    "I fully expect the insurgents will come out in force in 2009 and we will come out in force in 2009 and there will be violence and there will be a higher level of violence than there was in 2008."

    Gauthier said he doesn't expect anything to be resolved in the early going, but predicted better security as more Afghan National Army soldiers join the field and NATO's training mechanisms churn out additional Afghan Uniformed Police officers.

    That will give the coalition "traction" in terms of security personnel at the same time as the full impact of the U.S. troop surge is felt, he added.....

  17. #37

  18. #38
    Council Member Shamus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Michigan,USA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    May they rest in peace.Condolences to the families.

  19. #39
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NYS
    Posts
    389

    Default

    My deepest condolences to the families, friends and comrades of the fallen. For those wounded, I hope for a full and speedy recovery.


    Adam L

  20. #40
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Unhappy Our prayers go out to those who pay such a price

    A reminder once again that although some countries may be said to "carry" a greater share of the burden their families however no matter where they are carry the burden equally. May those who can recover well: for those who can't let us never forget their efforts.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •