Thursday, December 24, 2009

Afstan: Typical Canadian reporting--balderflippingdash

Murray Brewster of CP is one of the abler of our journalists covering military matters. But in this round-up and look-ahead piece about the CF in Afstan he manages not to mention the US Army's 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team that has been operating at Kandahar since late summer (that unit by itself is considerably larger than the whole Canadian contingent in the province). Mr Brewster refers to the Arghandab district but seems unaware that a battalion of the Stryker BCT is there now and taking heavy casualties.

Mr Brewster is apparently also unaware that a second US Army BCT will deploy at Kandahar in Spring 2010. So by next summer there will be one Canadian infantry battalion at Kandahar, along with something like nine/nine US Army infantry battalions (two are now part of the CF's Task Force Kandahar) . Nothing on that from Mr Brewster.

Moreover he never mentions the US Army's 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade which has been at KAF since spring 2009--and which has provided most valuable support to Canadian troops.

He also writes that
...there have been reports that 800 U.S. marines will deploy in early January with more to follow. They will flood districts around the city, places that have etched themselves into the consciousness of Canadians — Panjwaii, Zhari, Shah Wali Kot and Argandaub...
I do not know where he's seen reports about substantial numbers of Marines coming to Kandahar. Everything I've seen indicates clearly that the great majority of the large number of additional Marines being sent to Afstan will go to Helmand province. As for their "flooding" the districts of Kandahar where the CF are now largely concentrating their efforts, with considerable US Army combat help: balderflippingdash.

I guess Mr Brewster doesn't look at the Marine Corps Times. Pity. And no wonder so many Canadians--public, pundits and politicians--are so ignorant of Afghan realities when this is the sort of stuff that appears in our major media. Fie.

Predate: One Canadian reporter, Matthew Fisher of Canwest News, did notice the second US Army BCT coming to Kandahar.


Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

"...I guess Mr Brewster doesn't look at the Marine Corps Times. Pity."

Indeed. That Marine Corps Times article gives an educational glimpse of the logistical complexities of sending in/maintaining large forces to Af-stan.

I noticed that besides the Army's Stryker units, the Corps is also sending in Abrams tanks. (I expect, some Marine and Army officers have read that very informative paper that CF Armor major wrote on the topic of tanks in Af-stan, previously linked here at Torch.)

Wiki has some good articles on the subjects of a USMC MEU, a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a heavily reinforced battalion; and a MEB, a Marine Expeditionary Brigade, a bit of a misnomer as it has the assets of a division, plus a powerful air contingent.

This article indicates a very heavy USMC footprint is coming to Af-stan, defacto a full division, with all sorts of heavy air and ground combat and logistic augmentation. More Af-stan info at Strategy Page also.

This sort of "thorough coverage" among the "expert" MSM commentariat is not unique to the Canadian MSM. The US MSM also has it's huge element of the same: thinking in a closed loop, apparently only reading each other for "research", or maybe reading external material but through the prism of existing mindset and ideology.

In Democracies, to make Democracy work, freedoms inherently come with attached responsibilities. With Freedom of the Press comes the duty of competent, professionally thorough and unbiased journalism. We've sadly seen little of that on this continent, in the Global War on Terror.

12:31 p.m., December 24, 2009  

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