I was reading an article, wherein a Liberal Senator is demanding that the military send over Griffon helicopters:
The head of the Senate's defence committee is calling on the government and the military to immediately send Griffon helicopters to Afghanistan as part of an effort to cut down on casualties.
Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says the use of the choppers as resupply transports would reduce the time troops spend operating ground-supply convoys that are highly vulnerable to insurgent attacks and IEDs - improvised explosive devices.
Fair enough, there seems to be some debate over the Griffon's effectiveness, but then you read this tidbit:
The Canadian American Strategic Review, a defence-oriented Internet site operated out of Simon Fraser University, points out that until July 2006 the U.S. Marines flew convoy escort duties from Kandahar airfield in Huey helicopters. Those choppers are similar to the Griffons but less powerful, the site adds. It also questioned why the marines can operate such choppers when the Canadian Forces considers the local conditions in Kandahar too extreme for the Griffons.
The Canadian American Strategic Review also suggests that the reason the Griffons are not being sent is because the Canadian Forces fear that deploying helicopters to Kandahar would take the pressure off politicians to approve future equipment purchases.
What an amazing conclusion, and if true, a complete betrayal of the troops. Equipment is being held back, for fear that the use will prevent the purchase of more modernized equipment? If the Griffon proves itself relevant, then it gives the impression that Canada doesn't need the new Chinook helicopters. In other words, the soldiers wellbeing is nothing more than a pawn, in an elaborate game of maximizing leverage. People could die, because the Canadian Forces braintrust doesn't want the Griffon in the field, undercutting their poor cousin arguments. If the above is actually part of the thought process in the upper echelons of the military, then "support the troops" doesn't quite amount to the absolute we are constantly sold. "Support the modernization of the military" seems to be the real catch phrase.