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Month: October 2021

Our Turkish ally
Canada and the new Cold War, Defence Today

Our Turkish ally

The Erdoğan empire has done plenty of harm  The Ottoman Empire was once a great power, controlling the Middle East, much of the Balkans and the African shores of the Mediterranean. Despite its size and population, it was widely seen as “the sick man of Europe,” and the First World War led to the collapse of the empire, the loss of most of its territories outside Turkey, and the rise of a secular government under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk was a soldier who had come to prominence for leading the fight against the Allied attack on Gallipoli in 1915. In 1923, after the Ottoman defeat in 1918, he became president of the republic he largely created. He then began a process of modernization with political, social, religious and cultural reforms that separated the new nation fro...
Collateral benefits from COVID research
Health, Military Health Matters

Collateral benefits from COVID research

Medical breakthroughs are a sad irony of great wars, no less the war on COVID-19. Humanity will be better prepared to deal with the threat. Hundreds of thousands of researchers around the world dropped their projects to join the battle to find treatments for those sickened by the virus and vaccines to protect the uninfected and stop its spread. The world now knows how to effectively marshal medical research for a single cause. When, not if, the next pandemic occurs, humanity will be better prepared to deal with the threat. There have been collateral benefits from this massive effort, beginning with messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) therapy, which is likely to have far-reaching effects on many branches of medicine. The mRNA vaccine is like a wanted-persons poster, telling the immun...
Vikings settled Newfoundland centuries before Columbus sailed: new research
Defence Today, Front Lines

Vikings settled Newfoundland centuries before Columbus sailed: new research

“The Vikings (or Norse) were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic.” Vikings conclusively settled in Newfoundland nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus reached the Bahamas, says new research that disproves once and for all the myth that the Italian explorer was the first European to discover the Americas. By radiocarbon dating wood the explorers harvested at the L’Anse aux Meadows archaeological site in Newfoundland, scientists pinpointed the felling of trees to precisely 1021 AD, long before Columbus dropped anchor in the Caribbean in October 1492. “The Vikings (or Norse) were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic,” declares the peer-reviewed article in the scientific journal Nature. The discovery “lays down a marker for European cognizance of the Americas, and ...
The U.S. invasion of Grenada
Military History, Military Milestones

The U.S. invasion of Grenada

The United States invaded Grenada in 1983, its first military action since the Vietnam War. Canada opposed the act alongside the majority of the United Nations. Grenada gained independence in 1974. In 1979, after a coup, the constitution was suspended and Maurice Bishop’s Marxist-Leninist government took power. Allied to Cuba and the Soviet Union, the country began to significantly beef up its small army, causing U.S. President Ronald Reagan concern over a potential Soviet military build-up in the Caribbean. But Bishop wanted to establish a socialist government and encouraged development, particularly of the tourism industry. Communist hardliners disagreed with his approach, urging him to step down or share power. In 1983, Reagan’s concern escalated to alarm when the hardli...
The liberation of Campobasso
Military History, Military Milestones

The liberation of Campobasso

Firmly established on the Italian mainland in the fall of 1943, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division turned its sights on Campobasso in southern Italy, rumoured to be the headquarters of German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. “With it in our hands, the Allied Force in Italy would no longer have to use the roads of the Foggia plains, some 50 miles (80 kilometres) to the south…and we would have the mobility required for the forthcoming fight for the German winter line,” recalled Captain G.K. Wright of the Royal Canadian Regiment on The Regimental Rogue website. Code-breakers at Bletchley Park decrypted German Enigma machine messages, revealing Hitler’s intent for a fierce defence in Italy. Eighteen supply trains a day moved in from Germany and France, carrying enough ammunition, fuel an...
Militarization, not commercialization, is the problem in space
Defence Today, Front Lines

Militarization, not commercialization, is the problem in space

Recent jaunts into near space by entrepreneurs, actor William Shatner and the ultra-wealthy have inspired waves of criticism among those who claim their fortunes could be better spent on Earth. How, they say, can Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk spend billions on next-generation space technology when so many in the world are starving? How can the privileged few blow US$250,000 a head for 10 minutes outside Earth’s atmosphere—barely long enough to say they’ve been there—when others are in need? Even Prince William spoke out against space tourism and, apparently, exploration. “We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” he told BBC. “[It] really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet...

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