Wednesday, July 12, 2017
One of the many, many reasons why the NDP will become the ruling party next election. Whether they will then turn into warlords like happens with all who gain access those lofty nests, we don't know. However, they are making all the right kind of noises right now.
Murray Brewster at CBC
DND refuses to discuss combat status of Canadian exchange officers
'Canadians have to know' if troops are serving in combat with other countries, says NDP's Tom Mulcair
New figures show there are 104 members of the Canadian military serving with other nations on exchange programs, but National Defence has refused to say how many of them are deployed in front line operations.
Officials are withholding the information even though internal government documents show at sometime in 2015 several Canadian fighter pilots — flying with an unidentified allied nation -—were engaged in combat against the so-called Islamic State.
The heavily redacted records, obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation, are dated April 15, 2015, and asked permission of former defence minister Jason Kenney to deploy a non-commissioned officer with a partner nation.
The Department of National Defence refused to discuss that case, but it was likely a dangerous assignment as a spokesperson said asking for ministerial approval was an "infrequent" occurrence.
When asked for up-to-date information about current exchange deployments, the department refused to provide any detail, citing a blanket of operational security.
"Due to force protection and operational security considerations, we cannot provide identifying information of our members who might be deployed while on exchange," said spokesperson Dan LeBouthillier.
The documents show the vast majority of Canadian exchange troops — 66 — are embedded with U.S. forces.
There are also more than two dozen attached to the British military, and a handful of others occupy positions with Australian, New Zealand, French and Dutch forces.
The exchanges, which are a long-standing practice meant to give Canadians practical experience with other countries, involve all branches of the military — the army, special forces, the air force and the navy.......