Monday, May 16, 2011

Wagging the Beaver

Department of National Defence wants to make foreign policy?

Photo: Sojourns in Nature

From Greg Weston @

"McCallum's former chief recalled a bitter internal battle over whether to pull the Canadian ships out of the Gulf altogether to avoid any confusion.

"'For a long time, the [Canadian] military pushed really hard not to be in Afghanistan, and instead be part of a full-blown boots-on-the-ground Iraq invasion,' Lang said."


"While the revelation caused a ruckus in Parliament, it all sounded relatively innocuous at the time.

"But Lang, defence minister McCallum's chief of staff, says military brass were not entirely forthcoming on the issue. For instance, he says, even McCallum initially didn't know those soldiers were helping to plan the invasion of Iraq up to the highest levels of command, including a Canadian general.

"That general is Walt Natynczyk, now Canada's chief of defence staff, who eight months after the invasion became deputy commander of 35,000 U.S. soldiers and other allied forces in Iraq. Lang says Natynczyk was also part of the team of mainly senior U.S. military brass that helped prepare for the invasion from a mobile command in Kuwait.

"The Department of National Defence refused to comment on Natynczyk's role, if any, in the invasion of Iraq."

...only, it's on his web site.

Previously published cable 03OTTAWA747