Saturday, February 23, 2008

How many troops are needed at Kandahar? The Globe keeps spinning

Globe and Mail headline:
Canada urged to double troop strength

In absence of NATO reinforcements, Canadian commander seeks brigade of 5,000 to keep Taliban at bay in Kandahar province

In fact, as I read his remarks, the Canadian major did not "urge" a doubling of Canadian troop strength (which he would well know is both a practical and political impossibility):
He listed five Kandahar districts and suggested Canada needs to double its current troop strength of 2,500 to keep the Taliban away from those important areas.

"Easily you could have a brigade of 5,000 Canadians here just for Zhari, Panjwai, Arghandab, Shah Wali Kot and Khakrez, because to be honest, we haven't been to a few places in Panjwai yet," he said...
He did not suggest a need to double Canadian numbers. Rather he simply said a force of 5,000 Canadians would be nice to have. That's something very different, but the Globe just loves its sensationalist spin that undermines our mission. And the story actually begins:
Canada needs as many as 5,000 professional NATO soldiers [including the Canadians one assumes]...
Not Canadians, NATO total. That 2,200-strong Marine Expeditionary Unit would seem to go a long way towards meeting the need during the seventh months they are scheduled to be in the south. I wonder why the reporter never mentions them.

Here's an interesting comment thread at


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