Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Canada in Afghanistan (Security/Stability Projects)

Canadian Security/Stability Projects in Afghanistan:

1. Mine Action National Development Budget (Partner: United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS);
GoA): Support mine clearance, impact surveys, mine awareness, rehabilitation for victims

Duration: 2005-2009
Contribution: $24 million

2. Anti-Personnel Mine and Ammunition Stockpile Destruction (Partner: GoA - Ministry of Defence): Support activities to survey, collect and destroy stockpiles of mines and ammunition

Duration: 2006-2008; Contribution: $7 million

3. Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (Partner: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); GoA - Ministry of Defence): Support activities for voluntary disarmament and disbandment of illegal armed groups

Duration: 2005-2009; Contribution: $7 million
Above photo: Lt.-Col. Stephane Roy, commander of the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment Battalion Group, barks orders at a change-of-command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Photo (left): Cpl Andrew Lew (Burnaby, B.C.) doin' good work in Afghanistan.

+ Afghan mission gets boost: (Canadian Press)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Canada's military commitment in southern Afghanistan is expected to increase in the coming months, but it will not involve the deployment of more infantry, said the general commanding the country's overseas operations....the Conservative government approved a plan to send reinforcements, including C-2 Leopard tanks, an extra company of Quebec-based infantry and an anti-mortar platoon. The additions boosted Canada's commitment from 2,300 to 2,500 soldiers and support personnel in Kandahar province. It now appears those were just the first components in what may be a multi-staged ramp-up.

...last fall, the Defence Department ordered up a $360,000 contract to outfit a suite of countermeasure systems on an unspecified number of CP-140 Aurora coastal patrol aircraft. Such hardware is used to confuse incoming missiles
+ Senate report called wake-up call for PM: The new report paints a sobering picture of Canadian soldiers let down by their NATO allies, left vulnerable by a porous Pakistan-Afghan border that lets insurgents roam freely, and badly undermined by the rampant corruption in Afghan society and its "warrior" culture..."If the funding isn't going to the people who need it ... then you're going nowhere in terms of winning the hearts and minds of people," Kenny said. "You're building up bank accounts in Switzerland." The report urges Canada to send 250 more military trainers and 60 more police officers to help train members of the Afghan army and police force.

A Canadian Army truck loaded with school supplies is overrun by children at Camp Shirzai, which is home to the families of Afghan soldiers on Jan. 18, 2007, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

+ North Korea deal reached +++ Beirut bus blasts kill 3
+ Iraq closing borders with Syria, Iran

+ NATO plea for more Afghan troops: (AP) CASTEAU, Belgium – NATO's top commander renewed an appeal Tuesday for allies to fill gaps in the international military force in Afghanistan, warning that the failure to send reinforcements was weakening the mission and jeopardizing the lives of soldiers fighting Taliban insurgents. "We do not have adequate forces," Gen. John Craddock told reporters. "It makes accomplishing the mission that more difficult. It places every NATO soldier there at greater risk."


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