Monday, March 12, 2007

trying to sell Hillier and/or the war in afghanistan?

trying to sell the war in afghanistan, the globe and mail has posted an article to solicit questions on our involvement in afghanistan (see article below). and just a few days earlier, the CBC had an article: Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier answers your questions on the Canadian Forces

General Rick Hillier on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan
12/03/07 Globe and Mail

There is no shortage of news coming out of Afghanistan and the Canadian Forces mission there.

Canada has about 2,500 armed forces personnel on the ground, referred to as Joint Task Force Afghanistan, joining troops from 36 other nations.

The UN-sanctioned mission seeks to rebuild a democratic, self-sufficient society in Afghanistan. Canada's role is to provide security, support the Afghan National Security Forces, strengthen governance, extend the Afghan government's authority in the south of the country, and to support economic recovery programs and Canadian humanitarian organizations.

A long-anticipated spring offensive by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan looms. In a pre-emptive strike, Canadian troops rolled out of Kandahar last week to the border of Helmand province as part of Operation Achilles, a large-scale NATO effort to rout out insurgents and a shadow Taliban government there.

Governor-General Michaƫlle Jean, Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian military, made a surprise visit to the country on Thursday, where she met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a group of Afghan women in Kabul.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor was pressed to explain how Canada monitors the treatment of those detainees captured by Canadian troops and transferred to Afghan authorities.

What questions do you have about the Canadian mission?

We are very pleased that General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, will join us Wednesday for a question-and-answer program on the Canadian Forces's involvement in Afghanistan. Submit a question here.

Gen. Hillier assumed the top command of the Canadian Forces on Feb. 4, 2005. He has served throughout Canada, Europe and the United States, and with the United Nations and NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia and in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, Gen. Hillier commanded 6,000 troops from 35 nations as the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from February to August of 2004.

Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, Gen. Hillier enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1973, graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and joined the 8th Canadian Hussars in Petawawa, Ont. He later served with and commanded the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany.

In 1998, Gen. Hillier was appointed as the first Canadian deputy commanding general of III Corps, U.S. Army in Fort Hood, Tex. In 2000, he took command of NATO's stabilization force's multinational division in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was appointed commander of the Army in May 2003 and selected commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan in October of the same year.

Gen. Hillier and his wife, Joyce, have two adult sons, Chris and Steven.

Editor's Note: We are pleased to have Gen. Hillier answer your questions on Wednesday. This is not one of our usual hour-long live discussions. Rather, this is an online question-and-answer session. Please submit your questions and comments by 10 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Answers will be posted Wednesday in the afternoon.