March 05, 2010

Yet another update

As an update to this story, AP reports that Abdul Qayum Zakir is not actually in Pakistani custody.

Posted by BruceR at 09:06 AM

Captain Underpants update

As first mentioned here, it wouldn't have taken down the plane even if it had high-ordered. Seatmate and bomber dead, that's likely all.

Posted by BruceR at 08:54 AM

Yon update

The continuing saga of Michael Yon continues as a saga. Apparently Yon had a meeting with the RC (South) Deputy Commander, who told him RC (South) was in fact responsible for the bridge in question, not the Canadians, as I had said below. Check. Yon has also said he will apologize to the Canadian Task Force Kandahar commander.

While I look forward to that, and will link to it if it ever actually happens, I wonder if he'll apologize for some of his other comments this week on that little Facebook page of his:

Importantly, no US forces should not be under command from Ottawa after Ottawa clearly has signaled that it has no stomach for this war. Ottawa is fine to fight in Afghanistan so long as it uses US soldiers? That's the signal.

Canadians still take casualties because we cannot leave base without taking casualties, but they are not involved in serious fighting.

and my favourite:

The only Canadian troops who get bad marks seemingly across the board (including by Brits) are French Canadian soldiers who have been widely seen as arrogant, ineffective, and in the way.

Hey, I'm not saying the dude hasn't got a point (about the interoperability stuff). He's clearly channelling what some U.S. soldiers are thinking and saying. And I think some degree we're affected by our training at the Major level and up, which always assumes a multinational framework with a strong American contingent, if only to make the tactical problems we put to our students more interesting. (Being a lieutenant-colonel means you need to know what a brigade commander does, and being a full colonel means you need to know what a division commander does, and Canada hasn't fielded a division anywhere since 1945). Inevitably that leads to the point in the simulation where our earnest young Canadian staff officers throw "wave after wave of Americans" at the problem. We see our units as completely interoperable, but for that to work in real life takes a measure of international diplomacy that we sometimes tend to abstract out of those equations. We should be careful we're not taking advantage of the American hospitality and their earnestness to keep us in this fight somehow, too. (U.S. troops have had historical issues with being commanded by other nations, too... maybe we should be using Brits in our scenarios, instead.)

But Task Force Kandahar as a brigade-level headquarters has always had span of command issues. In early 2008, it had a single battalion under command, and sometimes was accused of being redundant. In early 2009, it had two battalions, Canadian and U.S., and seemed to be working pretty much optimally with those two map pins to work with, but knowing what was coming maybe they should have looked at bringing more U.S. bodies in and making TFK less of an all-Canadian shop sooner. Now in early 2010 it has one Canadian and several U.S. battalions under it, and Yon's ability to stoke up those Americans around him to mouth off about the situation may be a sign those kinds of cracks are starting to show. Again, he's not making this stuff up: meaning there's a small internal communications patchup job between the Task Force Kandahar commander and his American juniors that may need doing here.

Posted by BruceR at 08:30 AM