Monday, February 25, 2008

The "C" word

In the Commons' debate today M. Dion said clearly that the 1,000 additional NATO troops at Kandahar the government is demanding would take over those things our troop would no longer do after February 2009, specifically "counterinsurgency" (the word he used).
...Dion made it clear Liberals have a different interpretation of the word "rotate." They want other NATO troops to take over the lead combat role, leaving Canadian soldiers to focus on reconstruction, security and training Afghan forces...
In other words (though M. Dion did not himself utter the "C" word) no combat in the usual sense of the term for the CF. I repeat:
1) What country will want to send troops to Kandahar to assume the "combat" aspects of the mission if we pull out of them? Moreover, the Manley panel said a new NATO battle group of some 1,000 troops is needed to augment the CF's battle group of the same size. The plain idea is roughly to double the combat capability in the area; M. Dion's position is directly contrary to the point of the Manley recommendation (all this with the Marine MEU aside since it's only supposed to be there seven months).

2) How will Canadian soldiers feel if they are serving alongside NATO comrades, allowed to fight properly when they are not? Bound by caveats, contrary to M. Dion's denial that the Liberal restrictions are in fact caveats?

3) How will Afghans feel about their Canadian comrades training them but not allowed to go on combat operations with them? Their morale will hardly be helped.
M. Dion also said it would be up to the Canadian military actually to determine how to conduct operations under the constraints the Liberals would place on the mission. That would put the CF leadership in a terrible, almost unresolvable, bind--coming up with ROEs that best serve the safety of our troops without being able to take the initiative against the enemy in a war zone.

In any event, why no "combat" when most of our casualties are caused by IEDs? Where's the logic? Joke.

Our political Fantasyland.


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