Skip to comments.Canadian Task Force 'JTF2' to hunt al-Qaeda in Afghanistan
Posted on 07/18/2005 5:34:43 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
OTTAWA -- Canada's elite JTF2 soldiers are heading to Afghanistan as part of a 2,000-troop deployment that will target the "detestable murderers and scumbags" behind the rise in international terrorism, General Rick Hillier said yesterday.
In a blunt briefing that signalled a new aggressiveness at the top of the Canadian Forces, the Chief of the Defence Staff said the impending operations are risky but necessary in light of last week's bombings in the British public-transit system.
"The London attack actually tells us once more: We can't let up," Gen. Hillier told reporters.
He said terrorists are ready to target Canada as much as any other Western country and that Canadians have to be aware that their soldiers are in for some "risky business" as they head out to Afghanistan.
It was the first time Gen. Hillier has confirmed that members of the Joint Task Force 2 -- the country's secretive commando team -- will be involved in combat missions against the remnants of the former Taliban regime and supporters of al-Qaeda.
"These are detestable murderers and scumbags, I'll tell you that right up front. They detest our freedoms, they detest our society, they detest our liberties," Gen. Hillier said.
He stressed the new face of the Canadian Forces, which he said are now focused on the first job at hand: protecting Canadian interests at home and abroad.
"We're not the public service of Canada, we're not just another department. We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people."
Previous Canadian missions in Afghanistan have provided security in Kabul, the capital. But the next three missions, involving 2,000 troops, will be heavily centred in the southern mountains, where soldiers will be called upon to hunt down and fight the insurgents.
Gen. Hillier said Canada is already in the crosshairs of the terrorists, and he does not believe it becomes a bigger target by participating in military operations that give hope to the Afghans.
"We're not going to let those radical murderers and killers rob from others and certainly we're not going to let them rob from Canada," he said.
He pointed out that during the Second World War, Canadian soldiers did not shy away from fighting the Nazis.
"Did they say, 'No we might be attacked over here if we actually stand up against those despicable murderers and bastards?' No, they did not," Gen. Hillier said.
The native of Newfoundland has been the top soldier in Canada for five months. Bolstered by a growing budget, he is promising a "radical transformation" of the forces to make them more effective in their daily operations.
With his straight-talking style, Gen. Hillier has already effected a major change at the top of the military hierarchy in comparison with his blander predecessor, General Ray Henault.
Gen. Hillier is a popular figure among the troops, and he has impressed his political bosses with his vision for the forces.
His goal now is to rally Canadians behind the military and convince young talent to join the expanding forces.
He would not speak about the number of potential casualties among Canadian troops in Afghanistan, while stating there is no such thing as a safe mission.
"You can't reduce the risk to zero," he said.
The recent Canadian rotations in Afghanistan have been centred at Camp Julien in Kabul.
Gen. Hillier said that the coming missions will "shift the centre of gravity to Kandahar," the area of southern Afghanistan that saw the rise of the Taliban.
The goal is to bring stability and democracy to the area, he said, adding that this is "the exact opposite of what people like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and those others want."
Later this month, 250 Edmonton-based soldiers will head out to southern Afghanistan to form what is known as a Provincial Reconstruction Team.
The soldiers will be accompanied by officials from the RCMP and the Canadian International Development Agency, the federal aid agency, to develop ties with local officials and help with the reconstruction of the war-torn area.
In addition, 700 soldiers from Petawawa, Ont., are heading to Kabul to help the Afghan authority conduct a general election, planned for September.
After the vote, a large portion of the forces will move down south to join the PRT and prepare for the arrival of the biggest deployment in Kandahar.
In February of next year, about 1,100 soldiers will set up a new camp in the area, heading up a new multinational brigade that will eventually operate under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, alongside American troops already in the area.
Gen. Hillier also said the army is sending at least 100 armoured vehicles to Sudan.
The Grizzlys are military surplus and several will be sent later this month, with the remainder to follow, he said.
Canada's role in Afghanistan
The Canadian Forces are entering a new stage in their operations as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in coming months, with a renewed focus on the more volatile southern region of the country.
Three distinct deployments involving more than 2,000 soldiers are in the works, culminating with the presence early next year of a combat force in Kandahar, the birthplace of the terrorist-supporting Taliban regime.
Thanks for helping us , Oh canuckda.
I think I already kinda like this guy!
Gen. Hillier is a good man - His shooters will be very helpful -
Thanks for not confusing corrupt socialist politicians with the brave efforts of the Canadian Soldier. Real Soldiers, led by fools and underfunded by all. God Bless them, We'll take all the help we can get.
If only they could collect the Osama Bin Laden reward.
They might be able to acquire a helicopter made in this century!
I just hope that they are not going in with fanfares and bagpipes, Eh?
I actually had hope that Canada was going to get involved in a big way until I saw that the majority of the troops won't arrive on site until 2/06. That is almost six months after the elections! Maybe the new general-in-charge needs that time to get his troops spun up and understanding that this is a shoot to kill war, not some pandya$$ wound them in the shoulder type civil disturbance.
Thanks for posting this good news.
General Rick Hillier is the real thing, and you notice how the leftist politicos in Canda have fallen silent. No one dares to speak out about Hillier's stanz, at least not to his face. When the liberal media tried that he simply said that the Islamofascists are scumbags, killers of women and children. [Knowing the Town where he is from, he would have said sodomizers of donkeys as well but he can go only so far in public.]
I lived in Newfoundland for 3 years about 40 miles from Hilliers home village, and know the community of Campbellton where he comes from. I have been there and stood on the rocky shores along Newfoundland's Notre Dame Bay on the North Coast of Newfoundland.I can tell you that the men from Campbellton are tough. They wrest their living from the sea as fisherman and go out on to the broken blue ice for the annual seal hunt. They hunt Moose and put the meat in the freezer for thier families over the winter.They still build their own wooden fishing boats, some of them 1oo foot long liners. This is the tpye of mould from which Rick Hillier has been struck, and I can tell you with great sureness that Canada is lucky to have him. How he survived the predations of Canada's leftest politicians in his appointment as Chief of Canadas Armed Forces, I will never know. For me, it is a small miracle.
The government of Canada knows it has a ways to go to get back on board with the USA and into our presidents good graces. The appointment of Rick Hillier is a very positive sign!
Rick me son, if ye be readin' dis, ya knows , me auld trout, dat I luvs ya as ma' brudder, yes I duz. Iffin yous haul acrass dat sleeveen raggety haid Azama Bi'lawdin, be a foin lad and kick his lardy azz up tru his hair if ye please! Tanks me son, and luck o' me fadder to ye!
Yours: **I wouldn't say things have gone silent - but it was my general understanding that the Canadian public always supported ongoing operations in Afghanistan**
You are right, though i meant that they have fallen silent in his immediate presence, because I can tell you that very few journalists or politicians will be either quick witted or quick tongued enough to turn the corner on General Rick Hillier.
You may not think I am not serious when I say it, but I KNOW the place he is from, and the devil himself couldn't out talk the folks from Campbellton, Newfoundland. The world over his term as CCDF will see a side of Canada that few get to see in General Hillier! And it is a very, very good, strong side of Canada, far from the sleezy mandarin
bureaucrats we are used to seeing on Canada's national scene. President Bush could be treating Hiller like a long lost cousin 15 minutes after meeting him, you can count on it. Crazy as it may seem,rural Newfoundlanders and rural Texans have a lot in common.
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