During yesterdays press briefing on Team Canada, the 2200 Canadian troops, two RCMP and on member each of CIDA and Foreign affairs going over to Kandahar to secure the province and begin infrastructure construction, Brig. General Fraser refered to his mission as equivalent to a hockey game.
He claimed he had an excellent forward line and a defensive line, the team was well equipped, the goal tendening was number one and his bench was deep.Wow guess they are going to plant a loonie somewhere in Kandahar like Team Canada did at the Winter Olympics.
So we are going to play hockey in Kandahar. No not really but it was so Canadian, so iconic. We can all now feel good about cheering for Team Canada against Team Taliban. Team Canada in Peril Butwhen our Canadian troops get injured or killed its going to be alot more serious than the Winter Olympics which coincide with Team Canada's mission to Kandahar.Team Canada waiting on injury reports
Brig. Gen. David Fraser, future multinational commander, speaks during a press conference Thursday in Ottawa.
"We do not take a back seat to any other nation in the world. Our soldiers are first-notch, first-class and ready for this mission," Fraser said.Last year, Canada's military was primed to battle "detestable murderers and scumbags," in the words of Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff.Now in the wake of several serious attacks on Canadians and calls for a parliamentary debate on the country's role in Afghanistan, the military has toned down its tough talk."This mission is about Canadians helping Afghans," Fraser said yesterday as he repeatedly stressed the mission is "not just about combat operations."We are prepared to kill if we have to," he said. "But that is not my mandate, to just go out and just kill. My mandate is go out and help the Afghans address the challenges that face them," he said.And conspicuously absent was any mention of Canada's special forces, who have suffered casualties in operations in Afghanistan.Instead, the focus yesterday was on the "Team Canada" approach to rebuilding the country.
When asked about whether this mission would take the fight to the enemy, that is the insurgents and Taliban in the outlying areas surrounding Kandahar, the General said that his team would play hard offence and they have a strong defence. I tell ya that man knows how to skate around a press conference.
When ever a press type would ask if the General was worried he would face Iraq like conditions in Afghanistan Fraser would say, "we have nothing do with Iraq I am going to Afghanistan."
Whew that's good to know, had us worried there. The point that the General seemed to continually miss was that the reporters weren't saying we were going to Iraq they were refering to the door to door, combat operations that American forces have faced in towns like Faluja and if Canadian troops would face the same kind of fight in Kandahar. But Fraser avoided that crucial issue with all the gusto and grumpiness of Don Cherry.
Afghan officials have expressed fears that foreign fighters are emulating the rebellion in Iraq with a wave of suicide attacks, including an assault this week when a bomber, dressed in women's clothes, killed five Afghans at an army checkpoint. "There is a big group coming from Iraq," said Ghulam Dusthaqir Azad, governor of the southwestern province of Nimroz. "They're linked to Al Qaeda and fought against U.S. forces in Iraq. They have been ordered to come here. Many are suicide attackers."Despite the dangers, Fraser said that soldiers are "pumped" about the upcoming mission.And he praised the equipment the troops will be taking with them, including LAV III armoured vehicles, hi-tech aerial drones to provide a bird's-eye view and new 155-mm howitzers that can blast a precision-guided shell 40 kilometres with an accuracy of 10 metres.
Blogger Peaktalk raises some interesting questions about the Canadian and Dutch forces going to Kandahar, both countries being left leaning social democracies share a view that their soliders are Peacekeepers says Peaktalk
Peacekeeping missions by their very nature include a ‘war-component’ as you will have to pacify some elements that have fail to recognize the terms of the truce that a peacekeeping force is supposed to maintain. In some nations, Canada being a great example, most people don’t even know that their sons and daughters in Afghanistan are actually engaged in fighting the Taliban. “We’re a peaceful nation and we’re making peace” is an often heard belief and it is hard to argue with it as no one has ever made it clear to the average Canadian what their mission was all about. So, Canadians and Dutch alike are often left with the artificial peacekeeping construct, used to buy political support, to ignore realities on the ground, and to wishfully think that there are no real life threatening hazards in today’s world.
His link is out of date, it goes back to a 2004 article. His point is well made, we are not on a peace keeping mission, but a mission to secure a hostile area and then peace will ensue.A dangerous mission for Canada's troops
General Fraser yesterday cleared up our mission yesterday. Candians now know full well the mission we are sending Frasers Team Canada to Kandahar to do. Uh sort of. We are going to build infrastructure in Kandahar, public buildings, schools, roads, train their army and police, establish the area as a secure State.
After we subdue the nasty warlords and Taliban in the hills with our brand new state of the art Howitzer, we will build a hockey rink and play Canada's national game in the newly established state of Kandahar. We are making Kandahar safe for Tim Hortons to open a franchise.
And while the General assured us Team Canada is playing with best equipment possible, apparently that is not so.
Some of their equipment dates back to when Edward "Eddie" Shore, "The Edmonton Express" played for the Boston Bruins, the same year the 'lauging stock' of the NHL the Chicago Black Hawks beat Toronto for their second Stanely cup ever., 1937-1938.
Canadians armed with WWII pistols
History and Development
of the M1911/M1911Al Pistol