Monday, July 30, 2007

Sell a war that nobody wants and try not to kill so many civilians

Since the Harperites haven't been very successful in convincing Canadians that the Neverending War in Afghanistan is a good thing, they're letting the loudmouthed Rick Hillier do it for them.

Great strategy!

From Harper Index - Hillier, Rick - brassy top soldier does what government can't

Chief of staff used as booster and stalking horse for government military policies

In selling the war in Afghanistan to Canadians, Hillier is merely "doing what the government has failed to do," according to historian and McGill University Professor Emeritus Desmond Morton. "I don't think the Tories have to give him a car or promises of a Senate seat," says Morton. "He enjoys doing it."

He is critical of Stephen Harper's June announcement of the planned purchase of naval patrol vessels..."They have promised to build little ships, but they haven't promised to build icebreakers, just cheap little ones. Their procurement strategies are not based on any kind of cold rational strategic analysis. Why would you want boats in the Arctic that can't get through the ice?"

Morton disagrees, as well, with purchases such as four Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft, at a cost of $3.4 billion. "Normally you don't own these aircraft, you rent them," at a cost of a few million per trip as opposed to "several million per minute," in the case of ownership. A hangar alone for these giant aircraft will cost $800 million, says Morton. Owning these aircraft "is like keeping a transport truck in your back yard," for use when you move. Purchases like these may keep top commanders like Hillier onside with the government.
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, NATO is trying not to kill so many civilians.

From the Australian Sun Herald:

NATO will use smaller bombs in its campaign against Islamist Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to try to limit rising civilian casualties, the alliance's chief says.


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