stats

globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space






  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology


Read and Win Contest


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

  Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...



Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    


Kandahar means combat, Hillier says
Photo   General Rick Hillier says Canadian soldiers cannot avoid combat if they are to remain in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Gen. Hillier made the comments while talking with reporters after a speech in Ottawa on Friday.
space

  
  



space
Interactive
 • Web Sites: realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg 
space
Related Stories
 •  MacKay complained of prisoner abuse during visit last fall
 •  Michael Byers on Canada's role in Afghanistan
 •  PM puts onus on military to explain prisoner policy
 •  Detainee fallout: take few, free quickly

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Canadian soldiers cannot avoid combat if they are to remain in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, the chief of defence staff said Friday.

General Rick Hillier ruled out any possibility that troops could remain in the volatile region and perform strictly humanitarian and reconstruction duties.

“Certainly if you're in Kandahar you're going to be in combat operations,” Gen. Hillier told reporters after delivering a speech at an Arctic conference.

“If you're there, you're going to be in the middle of a firefight some way or another.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has endorsed the recommendations a blue-ribbon panel that looked into Canada's options in Afghanistan.

It recommended that Canadians continue in a combat role beyond their scheduled pullout next February if other NATO countries pony up 1,000 reinforcements and the military can acquire combat helicopters and unmanned surveillance aircraft.

The Opposition Liberals have rejected the findings of the panel, headed by former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley. They have said they would leave Canadian troops in Kandahar only as long as they were not involved in combat.

But Gen. Hillier said that is impossible. The Afghan army has made great progress but is not capable of supporting its own counter-insurgency operations, he said.

“One of the (Afghan) battalions is very good; the other one is sort of relatively good and the other one is just getting into a training cycle,” he said.

“The progress has been phenomenal, but it's going to take a while.”

Other NATO commanders recognize the need for more troops to fight the insurgency in southern Afghanistan, he said, but the challenge lies in persuading their political masters to provide them.

He said he has been saying for years that the overall mission needs better co-ordination and support. He said there are sufficient troops in the rest of the country “to do the job” and perhaps even enough to transfer some to Kandahar.

“That's where the need is right now and the need is not in the north or the west or the northeast. The need is in the south or the east.”

The Manley report will act as a blueprint for all of NATO in Afghanistan, he said, adding the relationship between him and Mr. Harper is “solid and good.”

“The political leaders in those countries are going to have to make decisions to set NATO up for success for this mission,” he said. “Canada is simply the leading edge of the spear.”

Gen. Hillier said he can accept whatever decision the federal government ultimately makes, as long as it honours the sacrifices made by the Canadians killed in Afghanistan.


space
Interactive
 • Web Sites: realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg  realtime/websites.cfg 
space
Related Stories
 •  MacKay complained of prisoner abuse during visit last fall
 •  Michael Byers on Canada's role in Afghanistan
 •  PM puts onus on military to explain prisoner policy
 •  Detainee fallout: take few, free quickly
Back to Home Page


Subscribe to The Globe and Mail
Sign up for our daily e-mail News Update





    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Globe Poll









What's New



e-INSIDER
Technology news for your business



Health Care: The Romanow Report



Iraq Backgrounder





Morning Smile
Why did the magician's inquiry get nowhere? Too much smoke and mirrors. Jerry Kitich, Hamilton, Ont.