When Canadians think about military, they think Afghan war: survey - Macleans.ca

When Canadians think about military, they think Afghan war: survey


OTTAWA – Canada’s mission in Afghanistan may be all but over for the Canadian Armed Forces, but it remains top of mind for the public when they think about the military.

Focus-group research conducted for National Defence last spring suggests there’s not much awareness of other recent missions, including the 2010 relief effort in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

A report by Phoenix Strategies, written in March 2013, was released publicly this week.

When asked about past and present international missions, many focus group members suggested — among other things — that the military keeps a low profile, is “out of sight, out of mind” and that Canadians are too “polite” to showcase military achievements.

“There was widespread agreement that the CAF is currently active in places outside of Canada,” said the 35-page analysis.

“However, when asked whether they know of any places outside of Canada where the CAF is active at this time, participants generally had trouble identifying any such locations.”

The army’s mission to train Afghan forces in Kabul is about to wind down as the first wave of the 950 soldiers currently taking part prepares to pull out next month. By early in the new year, only 100 Canadian troops will be left on the ground.

The pullout will end more than 10 years of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, including a five-year combat mission in Kandahar. In total, 158 Canadian soldiers lost their lives.

The public research, which is conducted annually, also shows that while the ongoing procurement fiasco involving the F-35 fighter has made a deep impression on the public, the Harper government’s long-standing emphasis on the military in the Arctic has fallen somewhat flat.

While participants agreed it was important for the Forces to conduct sovereignty patrols, most of their awareness of northern issues related environment and resources.

“Most participants did not have an understanding of what the CAF does in Canada’s Arctic,” said the report, which was prepared following 10 focus groups across the country.

“Relatively few participants had heard the specific expression ‘Arctic Sovereignty’ before attending the focus group.”

Despite being unaware, researchers said there was “a virtual consensus” that it is important for Canada to protect and exercise sovereignty in the North.

“Some focused on the economic dimension of the issue. They said that exercising sovereignty is important because it serves to protect Canada’s mineral and resource rights in the region, and helps ensure that our country controls the northern waterways becoming passable.”

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When Canadians think about military, they think Afghan war: survey

  1. That is because the average Canucklehead

    (1) Has not learned anything about Canadian history in school,

    (2) Has never given one seconds worth of thought about all those United Nations Military Observers Canada sent to war who came home in boxes, bags and sometimes in very small pieces – so much for being Peace Keepers – a term I hate as peace must be made to be kept which usually means killing a bunch of folks – a Pearson fallibly – perpetuated by the media and left leaning Canuckleheads.

    (3) the media has had no interest in anything other than Afghanistan because they were for the most part left wing, agenda driven conspiracy theorists,

    and finally,

    (5) The vast majority of Canuckleheads simply do not care what happens outside their own little world unless their email or smart phone is broken – in which case there is a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Bring back the draft – service to country is a good thing.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • The draft! I should have read this first before responding to your other comment. Anyone who supports peacetime conscription in Canada is so out of touch with public sentiment as to make one question if he’s joking.

        • It would get all the parasite welfare hippies to work for a living and contribute to society. Bob you said it! FT_Ward does not know what the real world is like

          • Just what we need. Whole brigades of parasite welfare hippies! Perhaps we could flog them when they do drugs or won’t shine their boots. Have you thought about tagging along with Dennis Rodman on his next trip to North Korea?

          • LOL! Good one. As an after thought – maybe a good flogging or two is what some folks need?

  2. When most Canadians think about the military, they fail to appreciate how the oldest book on the Art of War started by saying that “success in war depends on deceit” and ended by saying that “spies were the most important soldiers.” Canadian public opinions are primarily the result of the triumphant brainwashing propaganda campaigns promoted by the mass media. These days, the few huge media corporations are practically integrated with the same corporate interests that profit from war. Everything that Canada did in Afghanistan was based on most Canadians being tricked by the false flag attacks on 9/11/2001. Nothing lasting was accomplished by the Afghan war, except that the Canadian military-security complex made about one hundred billion more dollars than they otherwise would have.

  3. Canada spends around $20 billion or more on defence annually. Most of this is wasted. Canadians should learn more about the military and then perhaps they’ll put more pressure on their politicians to cut DND’s budget and force it to give up on dreams of tagging along on US expeditions.

    • Spoken like a true soldier of the NDP.

      • Misinterpreted like a true militarist. If you think about it a bit you might discover that an expensive unnecessary military establishment is the opposite of true conservatism. A true conservative should be against big government, high taxes and borrowing that accompany it. The Canadian peacetime military with it’s bloated rank structure, empire building, bureaucratic incompetence and lack of purpose sums up big government in a nutshell.

        • Like I said before…..

          • Do you really think a NDP supporter is against big government and for lower taxes? Think about it.

          • Yes to the first and no to the second – dippers – Lord help us if the citizen of france ever gains the PM seat.

          • I doubt he will be PM but massive waste and incompetence in DND helps his cause.

          • Hard to argue that point – however the truth is most of that is caused by PWGSC in Ottawa – who hold all the power over the military – and it does not matter who sits in government, the story has always been the same.