Defence Today

War, hunger, locusts, fire and pestilence: World Press Photo returns
Defence Today, Front Lines

War, hunger, locusts, fire and pestilence: World Press Photo returns

War in the Caucasus. Hunger in Yemen. Locusts in Kenya. Fire in Brazil. Pestilence everywhere. The World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition has returned to Canada, showing at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa after a one-year, pandemic-imposed hiatus. And this year’s version, featuring 159 of the top entries from the world’s most prestigious photojournalism competition, has more than its usual share of misery, suffering and tumult, interpreted with exquisite impact by a select few shooters. The pandemic is a complex story of health, science, economics and politics. But, at its core, it is most of all a human story. Predictably, perhaps, COVID-19 stole the show: an image by Danish lensman Mads Nissen entitled The First Embrace earned Photo of the Year honours on top of the General News (S...
Afghanistan veterans frustrated by Taliban resurgence
Defence Today, Front Lines

Afghanistan veterans frustrated by Taliban resurgence

With U.S. forces out and Taliban insurgents advancing across much of Afghanistan, Sean Maloney’s post on the Canadian Afghanistan War Veterans Association Facebook page was discouraging. “Cell service in Kandahar is apparently down, not just intermittent,” wrote Maloney, who chronicled the war as the Canadian Army’s official historian across more than a decade of fighting and 11 trips to Afghanistan. Now he’s relying on sources inside the war-ravaged country to provide accounts and videos of the Taliban’s resurgence. Platoon-sized Taliban checkpoints were using biometric devices and laptops to identify people who worked with the International Security Assistance Force and the international community. The checkpoints included pickup trucks, with running engines and equipped with re...
A glimmer of hope for Afghan interpreters left behind
Defence Today, Front Lines

A glimmer of hope for Afghan interpreters left behind

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has profound implications for more than 100 Afghans believed to have worked alongside Canadian troops during the years they operated inside the country’s borders. The American pullout has refocused attention on the plight of an estimated 115 so-called LECs (locally employed civilians) who missed out on a brief resettlement program instituted by the former Conservative government. Taliban fighters have executed numerous interpreters and other collaborators. Several news organizations, including Reuters, The Globe and Mail and The National Post, quoted government sources in reporting that Ottawa plans to evacuate hundreds of collaborators and their families after President Joe Biden said he would bring up to 100,000 Afghans to the United States, incl...
Out of touch
Defence Today, Eye On Defence

Out of touch

Gender discrimination is not acceptable, in any way, shape or form   I have been writing this column for Legion Magazine for more than 15 years and I have written columns for other magazines and newspapers for even longer. Until now, I have never written a personal column. Why now? Because I want to express my view about gender discrimination and sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.   In several ways, I was involved in the aftermath of the Somalia Affair of the early 1990s. That disgraceful series of events emerged after Somali civilians were killed by Canadian soldiers on a United Nations Chapter VII peace enforcement operation in Somalia. The killings were covered up and, as the scandal emerged, it was apparent that there were some deep problems in the Canadian A...
Top general warns of civil war threat as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan
Defence Today, Front Lines

Top general warns of civil war threat as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan

America’s top military commander in Afghanistan is predicting the country, already in its sixth successive decade of unrelenting conflict, could descend into another civil war as U.S. troops end their involvement in America’s longest war. Approaching 20 years since coalition forces ousted the regime that harboured Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorists, General Austin S. Miller said districts around the country, some strategically important, are falling rapidly and warned that, with peace talks on shaky ground, militias could propel the country into civil war. “A civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized if this continues on the trajectory it’s on right now; that should be of concern to the world,” Miller told reporters in Kabul on June 29. “The victorious Taliban regime i...
UN warns of a “global refugee crisis,” urges peace and stability
Defence Today, Front Lines

UN warns of a “global refugee crisis,” urges peace and stability

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is urging world leaders to boost their efforts to promote “peace, stability and co-operation” in the face of a global refugee crisis. The agency says refugee numbers driven by violence, persecution, war and human-rights violations have been increasing for the past decade, rising by four per cent from 2019 to a record 82.4 million in 2020. Almost a million children were born in displacement between 2018 and 2020. Children under 18 are particularly affected, said the report. They account for 42 per cent of all forcibly displaced people despite the fact they comprise just 30 per cent of the world’s population. Almost a million children were born in displacement between 2018 and 2020, it said. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the lives of...

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