Friday, July 27, 2007

Sounds Like A Winner

Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is proposing that Canada change the nature of our mission in Afghanistan:
An influential Conservative senator is suggesting that Canada alter its military role in Afghanistan after February 2009 by reducing its ground forces while increasing its naval and air force support.

...and to use more naval in some of the adjacent areas to make sure there aren’t any large concentrations of Taliban or al-Qaida forming ... and that does not necessarily require endless convoys on the ground and endless boots on the ground in an endless sort of process that seems to have no apparent end.”

I don't claim to be a military expert, but a quick look at the landscape does seem to suggest naval power might be the key moving forward:

Nothing says naval, like a landlocked country. Readers of this blog won't be surprised, that I favor training the Afghan navy instead, in the name of self-determination.


Olaf said...


Listen, smartass, Calgary has a Navy Museum and training base. Guess how many times Calgary has been attacked by water in the past 25 years? Yep, 0. Well, except that one time like 20 years ago when the Romanians came down the Bow river and lobbed a few cannonballs into downtown. But still, that was an aberration, plus it was a very hectic time in Eastern Europe and our defenses were down... never again, we said, never again.

Anonymous said...

Good grief....really there are no words to describe it.

Karen said...

There is much talk about the Liberal Senators, much less focus on the Conservative side.

He was supposed to be the sane one.

Good catch.

Dave said...

Ummm...Olaf. That's not a training base. It's a reserve division. And the Winnipeg naval museum is much better.

Vicky said...

LMAO Steve...

mind you there are long range missiles that "could" make over to Afghanistan, but we'd need to convince the Iranian and Pakistani governments to let us put our boats in their waters...

we should concentrate on what we're doing on land before stretching ourselves to air and naval operations....

Olaf said...


Thanks, I guess a training base wouldn't make much sense, would it.

Eric said...

Clinton used naval based missiles to hit Afghanistan during his term.

Pakistan didn't have a problem then and I doubt they'd have a problem now.

Anonymous said...

SouthernOntarian: "Clinton used naval based missiles to hit Afghanistan during his term."

The Canadian Navy does not have cruise missiles in its inventory. The only offensive missiles in service are Harpoons, which are anti-ship missiles -- not much use against the Taliban.

The largest gun is a mere 76mm.

There are no naval weapons that could be used in the Afghan conflict.

Mark Dowling said...

Segal is merely a (pretty ill-briefed) mouthpiece for saying the politically unsayable - that DND is preparing to announce it will wind up its role in Afstan in 2009.

Note to Harper - if you need an armslength source you have a former RCAF officer in your Commons caucus (who you probably should have made MND instead of O'Connor but for provincial "balance" and appointing Ambrose), rather than an unelected lifer pol who has never served.

I suspect an increased role in Haiti is possible following Harper's recent visit. The Tories are refocusing on Latin America which could be good news if Harper avoids toeing the US line on Chavez and Castro as he mostly did recently.

It's true that Canada doesn't have TLAMs in its inventory, since instead of buying subs like Trafalgars or Los Angeles that could fire them, we bought the Upholders in 1998 and let them rust until 2003, remind me who was in charge during that fiasco?

We also don't operate an aircraft carrier which could launch strikes into Afghanistan from the Persian Gulf - although I do remember a certain party freaking out at the very thought of a carrier during the last election, even though what was proposed was more like HMS Ocean than USS George H.W. Bush and thus more useful in a conflict like Sierra Leone or the Lebanon evac.

"Readers of this blog won't be surprised, that I favor training the Afghan navy instead"

Because sailors or airmen have nothing to teach a country with only an army. Oh wait. The mistake in Iraq was disbanding the Iraqi Army on day one - that was never an option in Afstan, where the ANA is now 35,000 in number starting pretty much from zero, with some units obviously better than others.

ottlib said...


Canada buying nuclear powered Los Angeles or Trafalger class submarines. Now that's comedy.

Each goes for about $1 billion a pop, plus about the same to keep a fleet of four going for just one year.

Hell, as long as we are throwing money around, why don't we buy a half-a-dozen Seawolf class subs, with some Aegis cruisers, Perry frigates and Spruance and Ardleigh Burke destroyers. Then of course, if we are going to have all of that we might just as well go for a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. The HCMS Pierre Trudeau. Has a nice ring to it does it not.

All would be very good for Canada's efforts in Afganistan because keeping such a fleet would eliminate our ability to maintain an army, so we would not have to worry about having ground troops on the ground in Afghanistan.