The general and the PMO -

The general and the PMO


CBC, October 10The Conservative government intends to keep some Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in a non-combat role beyond Parliament’s 2011 end-date for the military mission, CBC News has learned. Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, told CBC News there will be Canadian troops in Afghanistan after 2011, though “exponentially fewer.” “I would caution you against saying dozens or hundreds or a thousand, there will be exponentially fewer,” Soudas said. “Whether there’s 20 or 60 or 80 or 100, they will not be conducting combat operations.

CBC, tonight. Amid speculation over a future role for Canadian forces in Kandahar, Canada’s top commander says he will withdraw all of the country’s soldiers from the region by 2011. “The parliamentary motion directs that it will be the end of the military mission in July of 2011. I mean those are the words that are there,” Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk told CBC News in an exclusive interview. “And for me it’s pretty clear. What we do for the Canadian Forces are military missions.”

Geddes has analysis. CBC has the full audio of its interview with Walt Natynczyk.


The general and the PMO

  1. And this would be one of the journalists who can't get all the words in the resolution.

  2. Essentially, there will be a handful of Canadian military and police specialists who will provide training to Afghan forces. Nothing to worry about.

  3. We can worry about anything we like C-R – especially where Neanderthal ideology seems to trump logic and evidence based decison making.
    Aaron is on the money today – just a shoirt while ago – with able assistance of John Geddes – shows Rob Nicholson's get Hard on Crime strategy is equally lacking in evidence to support its approach.
    I don't get it with Neocons – Thatcher was proved wrong. Reagan was proved really wrong. Harris – was the prototypical knuckledragger. Why can't you guys face the evidence and try to make decisions based upon reality not on some bible based Eye for eye revenge motive!

    • Yes, good thing they re-opened all those coal mines in Britain…what was Thatcher thinking?

    • WW, do you ever stop to wonder whether your retro 80's rants against Thatcherites and Reaganites really apply to the Canadian Government and the Canadian Forces of 2009?

      Get with the times, dude.

  4. The Parliamentary Motion is nonbinding. The CDS will do as the Cabinet/Defence Min. orders him to do.

    • Precisely.

      Maybe we can stop the 'gotcha' journalism for a second and actually read the National Defence Act…

  5. “Exponentially fewer”

    May I, as a student of mathematics, please slap Mr. Soudas, and anyone else who insists on using math-speak without really understanding what they are saying? Say ‘orders of magnitude’, say ‘a lot’, just don’t say exponential. It’s as stupid as saying logarithmically, or quartically, factorially. It’s just dumb, and meaningless.

    • Except that it isn't meaningless. You know exactly what he's trying to convey. So do we. As such, it's one of those fun words that has more than one meaning.. a correct one, and an accepted one.

      • That’s part of my issue. It allows people to say one thing and have people hear another. Technically, ‘exponentially less’ could mean any number (it doesn’t add additional meaning to ‘less’), but most people would interpret it as “much, much less”. When people realize that what happened isn’t what they thought they heard, the speaker can point at the technical definition.

        • Yes, but that's when we point at them and say, "So technically, you're a sophist and your word is worthless."

      • If you have a few thousand troops and that drops to only a very very few, it could actually be an exponential reduction, or a result that matches a diminution arrived at exponentially, right?