T Nation

Canadian JTF-2 Force Gets American Citation

From time to time when the rabid cheerleaders in here have gotten out of hand I’ve said Canadians know how to die for what is right (generally talking about the involvement in WWII). Here is something a little more current…

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1845&ncid=1845&e=1&u=/cpress/20041208/ca_pr_on_na/jtf_award

A snippet…

[b]Canada’s special operations military unit, Joint Task Force 2, has been awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for heroism in battle.

It’s just the second Canadian military unit to receive the honour. U.S. President George W. Bush made the presentation in California to the American commander of the multinational force in Afghanistan of which JTF-2 was a part from October 2001 to April 2002. The citation, first awarded after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7, 1941, is given to units of the United States and allied nations for extraordinary heroism in actions against an armed enemy.

The unit must display such gallantry, determination and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign.[/b]

Don’t mistake the fact that we didn’t officially agree that the invasion of Iraq was necessary as a lack of commitment, resolve or friendship – as is often done on these threads.

Good post, Vroom.

Glad to see our Canadian allies getting credit and honor where it is due.

In the tumult over Iraq, it’s all too easy to forget about the ‘other’ war, where there is a lot of cooperation and sense of purpose among the nations serving there.

Again, this American appreciates the efforts and service of our Northern brothers.

Vroom,

No one disputes the fact that our Canadian armed forces do one heck of a good job when they are deployed. In my opinion the individuals who join the Canadian armed forces are owed extra gratitude due to the fact that they are putting their lives at risk for a country that pays them little honor and respect. They also need to make up in versatility and skill what they are lacking in proper equipment and manpower.

What is disturbing is that you and I (well, actually just you) keep voting in a government that keeps our armed forces on a shoestring budget, houses their families in substandard conditions, and forces them to use broken down, castoff equipment. This demonstrates the Canadian mindset and priorities.

I think what upsets the Americans who take notice of what’s going on up here is that we are under-funding our defense to the point that we would be useless should we be needed in a major conflict. Canada fully expects the United States to protect us if need be. Why should they be expected to protect this entire continent, yet not be able to tax it for those services? And, why should they put up with us badmouthing and criticizing them at every turn?

JP,

I hardly think it is fair to cast the state of affairs of the Canadian Armed Forces on my shoulders. They are broad woman, but they aren’t that broad.

I’m not sure it makes sense for Canada to maintain a readiness for major armed conflict. This doesn’t mean we should not spend money on our military, but it does mean I might suggest other priorities (for our military).

Perhaps Canada, in peacetime, we should specialize on two areas. One of those would be making sure we have the ability to project appropriate levels of force and control within our boundaries.

The other, in my own opinion, would be to set our forces up for specialized activities. Canada is never going to be an enforcer (known as a superpower) and it doesn’t need to be. If you long to be a world superpower you are probably in the wrong country – it won’t happen no matter which way you vote up here.

Maybe if we upped the size of our special forces by a factor of ten and gave them appropriate levels of equipment and training they would be available to play a role in whatever conflicts we chose to participate in. Right now we are “stretched out” far to easily.

The nature of issues the world is facing today are a bit different than they used to be. Perhaps we should be ready for a different type of activity? I’m not so liberal as to be anti-military though I would look very hard at where forces should be deployed.

We don’t necessarily need to throw our own youth in harms way every time some other leaders decide to throw theirs in harms way…

Finally, in the event of a serious military conflict on this planet, I’d suggest Canada would ante up as it did during the world wars. Maybe after we get the national debt taken care of I’d be more willing?

How people find “ultra-liberal” in this I have no idea.

[… edited to fix major grammatical errors…]

[quote]vroom wrote:
JP,

I hardly think it is fair to cast the state of affairs of the Canadian Armed Forces on my shoulders. They are broad woman, but they aren’t that broad.

I’m not sure it makes sense for Canada to maintain a readiness for major armed conflict. This doesn’t mean would should not spend money on our military, but it does mean I might suggest other priorities.

Perhaps Canada, in peacetime, should specialize on two areas. One of those would be making sure we have the ability to project appropriate levels of force and control within our boundaries.

The other, in my own opinion, would be to set our forces up for specialized activities. Canada is never going to be an enforcer (known as a superpower) and it doesn’t need to be. If you long to be a world superpower you are probably in the wrong country – it won’t happen no matter which way you vote up here.

Maybe if we upped the size of our special forces by a factor of ten and gave them appropriate levels of equipment and training they would be available to play a role in whatever conflicts we chose to participate in. Right now we are “stretched out” far to easily.

The nature of issues the world is facing today are a bit different than they used to be. Perhaps we should be ready for a different type of activity? I’m not so liberal as to be anti-military though I would look very hard at where forces should be deployed.

We don’t necessarily need to throw our own youth in harms way every time some other leaders decide to throw theirs in harms way…

Finally, in the event of a serious military conflict on this planet, I’d suggest Canada would ante up as it did during the world wars. Maybe after we get the national debt taken care of I’d be more willing?

How people find “ultra-liberal” in this I have no idea.[/quote]

Put up or shut up… Up the special forces and gut all the other services. A TRULY stupid idea. WHY DO WE NEED A NAVY, CANADA ONLY HAS THE LONGEST COASTLINE ON THE PLANET? Have you heard that our Prime Manager has offered to send ‘monitors’ for the elections up coming? You want to talk about empty, dangerous gestures.
This man wants us, Canadians, to think we, read him, are being such good folks that we are going to make sure the election runs properly. I would hazard to guess that actual ‘protection’ of these people is the LAST thing on the man’s mind. I can imagine the reasoning, ‘Why do we need to protect the monitors? Don’t these people realize that we are only there to HELP them?’
In case you haven’t heard, the woman who was recently killed, beheaded, had worked with and for the kids of Iraq for years… This made no difference to the people, read ‘terrorists’, who killed her. I would not think of voluteering for such a mission… It would be suicide… Paul would and will be properly horrified if/when a bodybag or two come back, of course… But his hands will be clean… he had the best of intentions… Such a wonderful man…
This mindset is endemic to the Liberal,Canadian Liberal, political machine. It is ONLY concerned with perpetuating it’s power in government. The people be damned And those who support it are dangerous too. Guess what… The world is not the happy, fuzzy place you or Paul Martin think it is.

Mowgli, maybe you didn’t read what I wrote? What part of projecting force over our territory equals gutting the navy?

Whatever problems you have with our twit Paul Martin’s decisions, I am not him. Thanks for thinking I have so much influence though.

Interesting points.

Special Forces are “selected” from the regular forces in most countries. You need a large cadre of troops to pull a select group from them. Then you have to train them. I don’t think anybody could increase the size of their SF by a factor of 10 w/o diluiting their effectivness.

Vroom- I hope you don’t think I have ever belittled the bravery or valor of the Canadian military forces. I have, however, criticized the Canadian government’s reliance on the US as the defender of North America it’s rather onerous. As to the rest of the world. If you benefit from the US action you should feel obliged, in my opinion.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Mowgli, maybe you didn’t read what I wrote? What part of projecting force over our territory equals gutting the navy?

Whatever problems you have with our twit Paul Martin’s decisions, I am not him. Thanks for thinking I have so much influence though.[/quote]

Vroom…
The only influence anyone in the country has, other than the few power brokers here, is in their vote. If you had understood my post, I was arguing that it is the Liberal ‘mindset’ that is dangerous. They are typically anti-military and play on peoples fears to demonize opponents.
Did you know that, in their pursuit of ‘fairness’, military families are now being forced to pay ‘Market rents’ for their lousy homes, determined by the omniscient CMHC?? How would you like to live in a shack and pay $900 for 2 bdrooms and a leaky roof? This government pays mere lipservice to the military. These men and women have pledged to ‘fight and die’ for us. Would you not think that we, as a people concerned for our own security, would owe them some comforts when they are not being served up like pawns for the political masters posturing?

Further to the ‘mindset’… Where do you think money would come for an expanded special force? From EXISTING BUDGETS buddy. You think they will actually give more money to the army/navy/airforce? The dept of national defence is scrambling now because the additional 5000 troops touted as ‘NEW RECRUITS’ must be paid for by money already in place.

A vote for the liberal party is a vote for a disintegrating military and forth coming disaster…

[quote]vroom wrote:
JP,

I hardly think it is fair to cast the state of affairs of the Canadian Armed Forces on my shoulders. They are broad woman, but they aren’t that broad.

[/quote]

Hey Vroom, I was kind of hoping for more of a reaction than that. :wink:

Paul Martin a twit? What an excellent way to describe him. That guy is downright entertaining. Each consecutive shenanigan just gets funnier and funnier. We know that Canadians don’t mind a crooked and impenitent leader, but I don’t know if they are going to be too keen on re-electing such a blatantly asinine one.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Here are a couple of articles written by Jay Hill, Member of Parliament. Jay served as defense Critic for the Official Opposition for numerous years before being promoted to House Whip. He is a friend of mine and I could not think of a bigger crusader for the plight of our military.

All of the following articles plus many more can be found at http://www.jayhillmp.com/news

“Honour our Fallen Soldiers by Learning from their Deaths”
October 8, 2003

Last week, our country began mourning the loss of two Canadian soldiers killed while on patrol in the foothills of Kabul, Afghanistan. Sgt. Robert Allan Short and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger died when their Iltis jeep hit a landmine. Three of their fellow soldiers were injured in the blast.

Though it was widely acknowledged before their deployment to Afghanistan that our soldiers were facing an extremely dangerous mission with a high probability of casualties, it in no way diminishes the sense of shock and loss felt by the entire nation. Nor does it make these deaths any less tragic for the families of Sgt. Short and Cpl. Beerenfenger.

The men and women of our armed forces bravely accept the risks and the real possibility of death that comes with serving their country. In turn, the federal government is duty-bound to do everything it can to prevent injuries and death, whenever and wherever possible, by providing our soldiers with the best training and the best available equipment.

This week, Defence Minister John McCallum said those critics questioning the government’s decision to use the Iltis vehicle in Afghanistan should show a little more “respect” for the soldiers who died. Liberal MP David Pratt stated he finds it “objectionable” that I would somehow attempt to blame the government for this tragedy.

What I find objectionable ? indeed, what I find offensive ? is a government that won’t take responsibility for sending soldiers into a war zone, into self-described bad-guy country, in unarmoured, rusted-out dune buggies, rather than light-armoured vehicles.

Let me make it very clear that it was not last week’s tragedy that suddenly created concerns about the Iltis vehicle. Soldiers have long been criticizing the Iltis as unsafe and as inappropriate for use on their missions. One soldier called them “junk” that “don?t fit our job.”
The Iltis ? the German word for weasel ? is built upon the chassis of a Volkswagen Rabbit. In 1993, they were already being viewed as an impending safety problem. The vehicles were considered too unprotected and too dangerous for use in Bosnia and our soldiers have been known to sit on flak jackets and pile sandbags on the floorboards to provide at least some protection.

Some military experts have expressed belief that our soldiers could have survived last week’s explosion had they been traveling in an armoured vehicle. A program to replace the Iltis is already underway, but it has been bogged down in the same kind of Liberal delays that have forced our air force to continue flying the 40-year-old Sea Kings. The Iltis is to the army, what the Sea King is to the navy ? antiquated, undependable and long overdue for replacement.

Could better equipment have saved two lives last week? Right now, we don’t know. We may never know for certain. However, we have an obligation and a duty to investigate. We owe it to the memory of Sgt. Short and Cpl. Beerenfenger to find out how we can better protect the soldiers left to carry on their work in service of our country.

“There really Is ‘No Life Like It’ if you live on base”
October 15, 2003

Imagine how you’d feel paying rent for a house or an apartment ? your home ? that was so poorly insulated your family’s food froze in the cupboards in the winter. Imagine the risks to you and your children?s health arising from the black mold on the walls and water smelling of sewage or under a long-term boil water advisory.

Imagine your outrage at living under these conditions as your landlord increased your rent every year by $100 a month ? far higher than the rent hike limits protecting most Canadian tenants. Then imagine your frustration at being able to do nothing about it because your landlord, who also happens to be your boss, had such power that health, safety and tenant protection laws in your province couldn’t help you.
For thousands of families living in Canadian Forces housing, no imagination is required. Welcome to their reality.

It’s a sad fact that many Canadian families are living in similarly intolerable conditions. However, if they rent, they at least have some recourse available to them under provincial laws designed to protect tenants from irresponsible and exploitive landlords. But what if your landlord is the Government of Canada? The provinces have no jurisdiction over rental increases and maintenance levels of federal housing units.

On November 1st, residents living in Canadian Forces housing will be hit with yet another rent increase for their Private Married Quarters. Many tenants have seen their rents jump by as much as 25 percent.

The Canadian Forces Housing Authority (CFHA) says it simply wants to charge fair market rents that reflect the local real estate markets. Yet it isn?t equally prepared to match the living standards of local units.
On-base housing provides military families with a valuable resource to address their specific needs. The life of a soldier is no 9-to-5 job. Most are on call 24-hours a day. Proximity to their base is critical. They must uproot their families every few years, to wherever they’re asked to serve. They’re deployed for months at a time, leaving their spouses and children behind. Often, the community on a military base is the only source of emotional and practical support for these families.

True, the men and women of the armed forces chose this life, accepting there would be sacrifices. But all of Canadians benefit from the personal sacrifices they make to be able to serve our country. And far from some low-cost luxurious perk, the housing that facilitates their ability to do their job is often a substandard health and safety hazard.

Soldiers and their spouses are reluctant to complain about their living conditions. Yet, the military housing situation has gotten so bad that some have begun to speak out. For those who continue to endure in silence, we must fight on their behalf.

That’s why I announced a petition campaign this week to demand the CFHA suspend any future rent increases at least until the Government of Canada makes substantive improvements to the living conditions of housing provided for military families.

Mowgli,

You are getting a little caught up “in the now”. I’m talking about what I would like to do. You are talking about our current state of affairs. They don’t have much in common.

Perhaps you should start your own thread if you wish to castigate the Canadian government for its treatment of our military?

I’m not well-versed on the workings of the Canadian military, but last time I checked Canada has a population smaller than that of the state of California, and its GDP was something on the order of a third smaller than the GDP of the state of California (I’m sure someone will correct me if those stats are wrong). Just how much of the defense of North America do we expect them to be responsible for?

In addition, I have no doubt that Canada would gladly join us in any battle they felt was a just one. What more can you ask of an ally? Here’s to the most successful bi-lateral relationship in the world!

JPBear, Mowgli,

It’s nice to hear from good people in Canada.

We know full well what it is like to live under a rotten government.

We lived through eight years of shame from 1992-2000.

During that period problems were ignored. Somali warlords were flown to Kenyan conferences aboard American transports. North Korean dictators were coddled. Disturbing terrorist trends were not investigated fully. Aspirin factories were bombed. The Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States decided for himself what were “acceptable” lies under oath. Bribes were accepted for pardons.

It was hard.

As you can tell, we are removing those rotten eggs from our government.

We hope you will be able to do the same.

Your American brothers and sisters know what you are going through.

Here’s to your success!!!

JeffR

[quote]vroom wrote:
From time to time when the rabid cheerleaders in here have gotten out of hand I’ve said Canadians know how to die for what is right (generally talking about the involvement in WWII). Here is something a little more current…

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1845&ncid=1845&e=1&u=/cpress/20041208/ca_pr_on_na/jtf_award

A snippet…

[b]Canada’s special operations military unit, Joint Task Force 2, has been awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for heroism in battle.

It’s just the second Canadian military unit to receive the honour. U.S. President George W. Bush made the presentation in California to the American commander of the multinational force in Afghanistan of which JTF-2 was a part from October 2001 to April 2002. The citation, first awarded after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7, 1941, is given to units of the United States and allied nations for extraordinary heroism in actions against an armed enemy.

The unit must display such gallantry, determination and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign.[/b]

Don’t mistake the fact that we didn’t officially agree that the invasion of Iraq was necessary as a lack of commitment, resolve or friendship – as is often done on these threads.[/quote]

We appreciate the contribution of the brave Canadian soldiers. And we appreciate having Canada as an ally.

JP,

I have zero problem with anything you are saying about the needs of the military. Although I’ve been branded ultra-liberal on these boards, I’ve fluctuated between liberal and conservative based on the important issues of the day.

I think Canada should be reasonably strong, based on her size and economic capacity, and should have a military set up to face the probable issues in the world today. Massive invasion of North America is highly unlikely. Ongoing terrorist activities, genocide and regime changes are much more likely.

We don’t need a huge standing army to inflict our viewpoint on the world, that is not realistic. We need flexible, well trained and well equiped forces able to integrate into larger forces or act alone as self contained units in remote locations (a la JTF-2). This works well for combat halfway across the world or projections of sovereignty across our own vast borders.

All of this will of course cost money and upset some apple carts.

However, one note, Canada seems to have a hard time equiping the military, I’m not sure it is only a liberal problem. We prevaricate, buy something, cancel it, buy something else and no matter what we get the government is lambasted for spending too much money on shitty equipment. I’m not going to take credit for this situation either… :wink:

Actually JP, when I was still in university I started a mock political party (the Canadian National Party) and created a complete platform including a military strategy to research and develop hovercraft technologies suitable for surface to surface (missiles) and surface to submarine (helicopter based) conflict as well as troop or equipment transport during all seasons. We had a leadership team and even had a scandal. It was great.

Anyway, I felt that like the Avro, we do have the ability to create world class capabilities, we just don’t have the confidence in ourselves to do so. It was quite interesting.

It’s been a long long time, but I am getting more interested in political issues if it isn’t obvious.

Damn - I just got a hankerin for some fries and gravy.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Damn - I just got a hankerin for some fries and gravy.[/quote]

Huh? I think I’m missing something here… What are you talking about Rainjack?

It’s a line out of Super Troopers.

What with the Canadian-only debate being waged on this thread, I thought a little American stereo-typing of Canadians would be funny.

guess I missed that one by about a mile, didn’t I?

Americans don’t eat fries and gravy?

I had no idea that was a Canadian thing. If that is true, then believe me when I tell you that you are missing out.

Mmmmmmm…

Defence is spelt defence, not defense.