Month: August 2016

Syria: if you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on
Front Lines

Syria: if you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on

In the past week things have taken a very odd turn in northern Syria. For one, Turkey invaded. And while the Turks claim their motive for invading was to push ISIS back from the border it shares with Syria, it now appears the real aim was to prevent Syrian Kurds from creating an unbroken stretch of Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria. The Turks have long said that a Kurdish state on its southern border would be a cause for war. So that’s what we have now. In the days after the invasion, it seemed the U.S. was backing Turkey in their effort to contain the Kurds. Vice-President Joe Biden made it very clear during a visit to Turkey that there would be “no [Kurdish] corridor,” he said. “Period. No separate entity on the border. A united Syria.” What has happened since...
America has a new strategy: scare everyone with wild weapons
Front Lines

America has a new strategy: scare everyone with wild weapons

It sounds more like science fiction than reality, but the United States is developing some truly amazing new weapons in an attempt to deter Russia and China from even thinking about going to war.  One of the most interesting is the railgun. It’s an electromagnetic projectile launcher that accelerates rounds to incredible velocities and distances using no explosives at all. Describing exactly how it works really doesn’t clarify very much, unless of course you are a defence scientist or something, but here goes: “a railgun uses a pair of parallel conductors, or rails, along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail.” The upshot is that the railgun can send out a ro...
Six Canadian Olympians who fought in the First World War
Military History

Six Canadian Olympians who fought in the First World War

With the recent success of Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Legion Magazine looks back at the six Canadian Olympians who fought in the First World War with a short video tribute. Canadian Olympians: 1. James Duffy  2. Alex Decoteau  3. Tom Longboat 4. Percival Molson  5. Robert Powell  6. Geoffrey Taylor  
Quietly, a new war begins
Front Lines

Quietly, a new war begins

On Aug. 1, the United States opened up a new front in the war against ISIS when it began a bombing campaign in Libya. Now, this is far from the first time the United States has bombed Libya. Back in 2011, a large group of NATO allies, including Canada, conducted an extensive bombing campaign to help overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Since then, Libya has largely descended into chaos, with various factions controlling different parts of the country. Many critics have pointed out that the NATO bombing mission should have been followed up with another mission to help stabilize the country. Two factors have contributed to the recent return of the American military to Libya: one is the emergence of ISIS, but a very important second consideration is that there is now a United...
Brief inspection
Humour Hunt

Brief inspection

Think back 58 years, exactly 58 years, to July 1958. Think of a beautiful July day, perhaps like the one you are currently enjoying. That’s how Sandra Chater (Austin then) remembers her summer of 1958 in basic training at St-Jean, Que. She found the marching very hot during basic training, even wearing the lightweight summer dress issued to the recruits. In those days, the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division (or WDs) were required to wear old-fashioned girdles with full slips and stockings underneath their light blue dresses. A cap, along with heavy black oxfords, with a spit-and-polish shine, completed the military look for the eager young women. After normal basic training, consisting of classroom courses on whom to salute, what all those stripes mean, how to mar...
Most expensive fighter in history now ready. Kind of. Not really.
Front Lines

Most expensive fighter in history now ready. Kind of. Not really.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been an ongoing headache for successive Canadian governments. And for the American government. And for pretty much everyone else, as well. More than 15 years after it was announced and ten years after it first flew, the fighter is still beset by production problems, skyrocketing costs, and some major public perception issues. While Canada was once on board to purchase the planes, that plan has been officially shelved. Except for that maybe we’re considering buying them again. It’s hard to say. On June 24, 2016 the Liberal government quietly paid $32.9 million to stay in the F-35 program, bringing the total spent on the jet by Canada to more than $300 million. Now though, there is at least the appearance of good news where the F-35 is concerned. Th...

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