Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bombing Context

Guardian blogger Matthew Yglesias provides some some useful context on the question of air strikes and counterinsurgency in his post, "How to lose Afghanistan."

If you're ever curious, the U.S. Air Force releases its daily 'air power summary,' where they provide ambiguous details about the dropping of "general-purpose 500-pound bomb[s]," firing of "20 mm cannon rounds," and carrying out "several strafing runs" against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. Beyond the Air Force informing us whether or not these bombing runs carried out "good hits" or not, the public is privy to precious few details about the overall destruction caused by the US and NATO's relentless bombing raids.

Canada does merit mention in the daily summary for their supporting cast role, " Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Canada and Korea flew in support of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq..." The reason Canada doesn't have its F18's in Afghanistan strafing the countryside?

Rick Hillier explained a couple of months ago:

Our allies have much in the way of airpower in the country so at the moment there is no need to deploy F-18s - they simply are not required. We monitor all of the above every day and stand ready to make recommendations to our government for force changes, if needed.
Also recall that since last September, Canada has had its F18s, which haven't seen use since the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, on the ready.

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