CDNMILBLOG

The latest news and analysis (plus occasional speculation) from the front-lines of Canadian military reporting.

A Dire Story from Afghanistan
CDNMILBLOG

A Dire Story from Afghanistan

It's always been hard to determine what will result from the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Recently, it's become more clear that victory is far from assured. Which is to say, that despite everything everyone did from 2001-2014, the country may simply return to the same calamitous civil war it was involved in when the whole mission began in 2001. And now, there is a wildly dire but compelling story out by American journalist Dexter Filkins which reveals the increasing possibility of another Afghan civil war. Based on the kind of shoe-leather, on-the-ground reporting that he has become famous for, the story gets inside the Afghan defense community to paint a picture of a very fragile nation. Nashir, the Khanabad governor, who is the scion of a prominent family, said that the rise of th...
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Documentary about life in Afghanistan

A short note for those interested in reliving bygone days, there is a documentary out now by Catherine Jones which tells a behind-the-scenes story of Canadian support troops at war. Check it out here.
More bad press for the F-35, the ‘supersonic albatross.’
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More bad press for the F-35, the ‘supersonic albatross.’

While the Canadian government seems increasingly intent on following through with its somewhat troubled purchase of new F-35 fighter jets for the RCAF, bad news about the project continues to roll out across the internet. In this interesting piece from the much-respected magazine Foreign Policy, the jet is portrayed as a massive waste of money, a veritable 'flying piano' with very few performance advantages and, ultimately, a project going increasingly awry. The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper. After reading the full story, it's hard to see why the plane is worth the expense. Read...
Live from the Arctic! The Canadian Forces land in Resolute.
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Live from the Arctic! The Canadian Forces land in Resolute.

Operation Nunalivut 2012 is underway in Canada's Arctic as more than a hundred soldiers, sailors, air force and Canadian Rangers have descended on Resolute (in the C17 picture above, no less) in order to patrol, dive and fly their way across the frozen north. More details (and pictures) to follow, but for now more information can be had here, at the CBC site.
Thoughtful article on Afghanistan
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Thoughtful article on Afghanistan

Not only is this recent article a thoughtful and interesting look at the current situation in Afghanistan, it also starts with a pleasing little joke: The situation in Afghanistan is beginning to remind me of an old Russian joke about the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. The optimist says, “Things are so bad, they couldn’t possibly be worse.” And the pessimist says, “No, they could be worse.” From there, the author goes on to argue that Afghanistan should be primarily understood as a civil war between Pashtuns (ie; the Taliban) and the Northern Alliance (the group largely comprised of Tajiks that the West allied itself with in the early days of the post-9/11 invasion). Of course, I think the author is correct -- if it is a civil war, and if all we're doing is siding with o...
Some great reporting from Panjwaii
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Some great reporting from Panjwaii

With any official trial of alleged mass-murderer Robert Bales still a long, long way off, reports are starting to trickle out of Panjwaii that describe what happened that night. Until very recently, the villages in question were essentially a no-go area -- when Afghan troops tried to enter the village immediately after the massacre, one of them was shot dead -- but now, the first English-speaking reporter has made it to the villages and back, and her detailed, excruciating short-documentary is available here.

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