Our Troops Deploy
From today's Toronto Star, Bruce Campion-Smith reports.
BRUCE CAMPION-SMITHNo doubt, all military combat operations will be accomplished without the use of testosterone, in order not to offend the delicate sensibilities of Carolyn Parrish MP and other members of parliament that list to the left. As I write platoon commanders are probably briefing the troops on the rules of engagement for the Kandahar deployment. Listen closely.
OTTAWA BUREAU OTTAWA -—Three years ago, they cut their teeth in the caves and mountains of Afghanistan -— and established themselves as a "world-class" special forces team.
Now, Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of defence staff, has announced that soldiers from Joint Task Force 2, the elite and secretive counter-terrorism team, will form part of the Canadian Forces contingent moving into the troubled Kandahar region over the coming weeks. This morning, another 110 soldiers are due to leave Edmonton to join the mission that has been described by top-ranking Canadians as "high risk."
Retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie is certain JTF2 commandos are already in Afghanistan, scouting threats for the soldiers who will form a provincial reconstruction team.
"I would imagine that JTF is checking out the intelligence situation and they're doing a risk analysis in the area where the (reconstruction team) will go," MacKenzie said in an interview."If they happen to be lucky enough to stumble upon a Taliban group, there are two possibilities -— stay hidden, don't do a thing, or take them out depending on what the situation is and what their orders are," he said.
Forty JTF2 soldiers were sent to Afghanistan in 2001 to help root out Taliban resistance, marking the first time the unit had been used in a major combat operation. They joined special forces soldiers from other countries in operations credited with killing and capturing key Taliban leaders.
Last December, that joint unit was awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation for its "extraordinary heroism" during enemy action."In numerous challenging missions against Taliban and Al Qaeda targets, they captured enemy personnel, equipment and material of significant intelligence value," Canadian Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison, the former deputy chief of defence staff, says in an information video about the team.
"Avoid that 'manly' stuff. No cussing. No spitting. No sweating profusely while firing rifles." Try singing folksongs to the enemy. It will show them we mean them no harm. If they think we're aggressive they might detonate their backpacks. Ditch the bayonets. They are sharp and threatening, and icky when used. Offer to trade baseball trading cards. Use breath mints. Remember, we are Canadian peacekeepers. Thank you kindly. That is all. Move out 'em out Sergeant."