Prev | List | Random | Next
While Canadians rejoiced at the news that two of their citizens were rescued from captivity in Iraq, some were surprised to learn Canadian special forces were involved in the mission and curious as to how many troops are on the ground.It's not unusual for military observers from a "neutral" nation to embed with other armies at war - the US did so in the years prior to joining hostilities in WWII, and European nations sent "troops" to follow the US Civil War.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters Thursday that a handful of Canadian troops have been stationed in Iraq since the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation, which is still widely unpopular at home.
Harper did confirm Thursday, shortly after the men were rescued, that an unspecified number of Canadians have been embedded with coalition forces since the beginning of the war.
Yes, I have noticed in Canada that there has been little discussion that there had been some Special forces in Iraq for it. It makes me feel ashamed of my country, like we will only be involved in an international situation/conflict if one of our own is at risk. [sarcasm]talk about selflessness[/sarcasm]Posted by Joel B at March 25, 2006 09:19 PM
The BBC went into some detail on the Canadian element saying that there were elements of the Royal Mounted Police involved. I have also seen lots of other reports and heard from folk returning from Iraq that there are elements from the German, French, and other countries. It is not unusual and the elements provided are not usually regular troops but often special forces and other irregulars and observers as you suggest. The German elements are a mix of intelligence and recon units specialized in certain duties.Posted by lexhamfox at March 26, 2006 12:33 AM
Indeed, it is now known that it was an American 'observer' in a Catalina flying-boat who sighted the Bismark, after it had sunk the Hood. This sighting led to the intense hunt, by Royal Navy battleships,cruisers, and the aircraft carrier, whose 'Stringbags' got a torpedo to hit the Bismark's rudder. The hit, which must be considered lucky (the luck created by courage) leftthe German vessel to go round in circles until it was attacked and sunk.Posted by MountainLion at March 26, 2006 06:39 AM
I'll make a bet that we had "observers" with the Brits in the Falklands campeign in 1983 as well.Posted by MAJ LOGGIE at March 26, 2006 12:06 PM
Soldiers are not responsible for the stupidity of politicians, even though they often have to pay for that stupidity.
I remember during the debate in the run-up to the war former PM Chretien specifically said that Canadians on exchange with the US and UK would not be recalled. The Deputy CG of III Corps is a Canadian General.Posted by Mario Mirarchi at March 27, 2006 09:34 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(6) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)