Whether or not the Prime Minister is open to extending the mission past 2011, the Canadian military may need to take a one-year break when the current mandate ends. Speaking to the Senate defence committee yesterday, Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie said a shortage of officers and equipment may require a pause to restock. Leslie said some 80 tanks purchased by Canada in 2007 can’t yet be used until someone is found to outfit them with the proper armour. And what equipment Canada already has, Leslie added, suffers from a lack of mechanics. “This situation is extremely serious because the number and types of equipment that have to be repaired and replaced continues to increase at a rapid pace, and their use is much greater than planned when they were originally purchased,” he said.