Friday, July 6, 2007

A Bad Day, Early In July...

Captain Jefferson Francis, Captain Matthew Dawe, Master Cpl. Colin Bason, Cpl. Cole Bartsch, Cpl. Jordan Anderson and Pte. Lane Watkins were killed in a IED attack upon their armored personnel carrier, on 04 July 2007.

I grieve for the lost of Canadian soldiers and offer my sincere condolences to their families and friends.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai last week echoed the release of an ACBAR report on civilian casualties in this war. The ratio of civilian to combatant deaths is around 1 to 1; meaning that as many Taleban and Nato forces have died as innocent civilians.

As a result of nine deaths in two separate IED attacks on Canadian Forces in the last three weeks, the conversation on the home front has come down to "we need safer transport" More highly armed personnel carriers is a good idea, yet it will only skew that terrible ratio for the worse -- and will be countered by the Tabeban, in time, with better more powerful IED's.

Can we buy piece of mind? This discussion about 'safety' in a war is ridiculous, in my opinion.

The Associated Press published a piece, picked up by The Independent, that has a good over-view of what the last few weeks has been like for Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

"Southern Afghanistan has seen fierce fighting in recent weeks. More than 2,900 people - mostly militants - have been killed in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan this year, according to an Associated Press tally of numbers provided by Western and Afghan officials.

Of the 102 foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, 46 were Americans, 18 Britons and 22 Canadians.

Also in the south, militants battled Afghan and US-led coalition troops in separate clashes that left 20 militants and one policeman dead, officials said.

Militants attacked at least three police checkpoints in Ghazni province on Tuesday, and ensuing gun battles left 13 militants and one officer dead, said. General Ali Shah Ahmadzai, the provincial police chief.

In Zabul province, Afghan and US-led coalition forces clashed with suspected Taliban militants on Tuesday in Shahjoy district, leaving seven militants dead and six others wounded, said Ali Kheil, a spokesman for the province's governor."

We lost another battle last week, 45 civilian dead, 20 Tabeban -- in one incident -- from Yahoo! News.

ACBAR is the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) umbrella group; all the non government players active in re-building infrastructure, in-country.

List of the dead from CBC


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