Deadly attack signals growing struggle for troops

Friday, January 1, 2010 – Globe and Mail

TORONTO and QASSAM POL, AFGHANISTAN — It was a targeted attack, a massive bomb detonated via remote control, that tore up the road just four kilometres from Kandahar city and killed four Canadian soldiers and a journalist in one of the deadliest attacks on Canadian troops since the country’s Afghan mission began.

The brazen attack so close to Canada’s base in Kandahar indicates just how challenging it’s going to be for Canadian troops to secure what Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard called a “ring of stability” in the area directly surrounding Kandahar city – and how far the troops have to go to win not only the hearts and minds but the trust of Afghans living there.

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Tab to keep Khadr out of Canada: $1.3-million and counting

Friday, October 30, 2009 – Globe and Mail

The federal government has racked up a tab of more than $1.3-million in legal fees in its continuing bid to keep Canadian Omar Khadr out of the country. And as its latest appeal of a judge’s order to repatriate the Toronto-born Mr. Khadr is set to go to court next month, the bills are likely to keep piling up.

Mr. Khadr, who was 15 when he was detained after a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan, has been held in Guantanamo Bay ever since on five charges, the most serious of which is for the killing of U.S. Sergeant Chris Speer.

In a written statement released earlier this week, the Justice Department stated it has spent a total of $1,335,342.37 on legal fees in relation to Mr. Khadr’s case.

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Canada in Afghanistan: Mission becoming impossible task

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 – Globe and Mail

Canada’s Afghanistan mission is falling short of its goals as violence and instability continue to worsen in Kandahar and across the country. Critics and military experts are questioning whether those goals can possibly be met by the time Canada ends its military commitment in 2011 – and whether they were realistic to begin with.

A quarterly report released yesterday detailing the progress of Canadian military operations in Afghanistan found Kandahar province becoming more violent, less stable and less secure, and attacks across the country becoming more frequent than at any time since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Less than two years before the scheduled end of its military mission in Kandahar, Canada isn’t meeting the benchmarks it set coming out of the Manley commission.

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