Saturday, March 28, 2009

More details on what Obama's war will mean for the CF

Some serious perspective--and the story does note the usually overlooked Danes (see end here--though it misses the Romanians in RC South):
A Canadian gunner [Gatlinged] takes his position in a Griffon helicopter over Kandahar province on Friday. With the U.S. poised to send 4,000 more troops, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan is becoming increasingly Americanized. By the end of the summer, four out of five soldiers outside the wire will be American.
Photograph by: Stefano Rellandini, Reuters

The Americanization of the war in Afghanistan was inevitable once the conflict in Iraq began to wind down, because NATO countries in Europe -- with the exception of Britain, Denmark and the Dutch -- refused constant demands to send forces to the only places in Afghanistan that really matter: the east and south of the country.

The increase in activity is already breathtaking.

The most obvious evidence is the vast swath of real estate being claimed by American forces at the already overcrowded Kandahar Airfield, which is the logistical hub for the war in the south.

Every few minutes, giant transport aircraft disgorge troops, combat gear or supplies. There are new landing pads for more than 100 helicopters from the 82nd Aviation Combat Brigade. Seabees from the U.S. navy are frantically erecting scores of barracks and other buildings. Every road on the base is being torn up as plumbing and electricity systems are installed.

Outside the airfield, Canadian troops in Kandahar still outnumber Americans; but, by the end of the summer, four of every five soldiers outside the wire in Kandahar will wear a Stars and Stripes shoulder patch [emphasis added].

This dramatic move doesn't diminish Canada's key role in the volatile south. The Canadians will remain in the same numbers precisely where they are now: in one of the deadliest parts of the country, an area about the size of New Brunswick [i.e. the heavily populated districts around Kandahar City--Arghandab, Zhari and Panjwayi--where most of the province's people outside the city itself live]. In most places, it's less than 100 kilometres from Pakistan, where Taliban leader Mullah Omar is said to direct the insurgency from the city of Quetta.

What has changed is that the Americans are going to blanket much of the rest of Kandahar. They are to provide what a diplomat here has called "a protective crust" to the north and east of Kandahar City [emphasis added--including southeast of Kandahar, e.g. Spin Boldak, the crossing point for the main road from Quetta to Kandahar].

As a result, Canadian troops hope insurgents and their weapons will have a harder time getting through from safe havens in Pakistan...


Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

I may be a pedantic pain in the neck here but I really grit my teeth when a professional journalist can't even capitalize correctly. Every day, one sees such examples as "Seabees from the U.S. navy". That would be "Seabees from the U.S. Navy", as opposed to a non-specific and therefore uncapitalized navy. Remember the rule about capitalizing the nouns that are proper names of persons, places or things?

I attended public high school in pre-historic times, when English teachers still ground the basic rules of grammar, punctuation and writing style into their students. It really seems to me that any of my fellow students who earned As or Bs in our high school English classes could write better quality stuff that what we're expected to pay to read in most of the North American MSM.

Today, one reads poorly written articles everywhere, even in putatively prestigious papers and magazines and their websites. Articles are constructed not into coherent connectively flowing paragraphs, but into one or two sentence groups that chop up articles that may give visual balance but damage the coherence and impact of what the writer is attempting to say. As for correct grammar and punctuation, forget it.

Everyone can't be a Shakespeare or a Mark Twain but damnit, a professional journalist ought to be able to write an article using correct grammar and punctuation and coherent sentence and paragraph structure. What the hell are they doing and learning in their four years of J-school?! Or, for that matter, in their four years of high school?!

/end pedantic rant

1:25 a.m., March 29, 2009  

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