16 November 2010

Canadian Training Mission To Involve As Many As 950 Soldiers

The Canadian government has agreed to replace departing combat troops with trainers for the Afghan National Army.
The Conservative government will announce on Tuesday that it will send up to 950 troops to Afghanistan next year for a post-2011 training mission, government sources say.

A government official said that all of the soldiers, including trainers and others sent in support roles, will be posted outside of Kandahar province, the tough, war-scarred area in Afghanistan’s south where most Canadian troops are now concentrated.

However, not all will be in the relatively safe capital of Kabul, as some will be posted in other Afghan cities, the source said, without giving the specific locations. NATO has asked allies for army and police trainers in several locations across Afghanistan, including some where Taliban insurgents are more active than in Kabul, such as Mehtar Lam and Jalalabad, an eastern city where six insurgents were killed on Saturday when they tried to attack a coalition base.

Most of Canada’s training mission will be devoted to training soldiers in the Afghan National Army, but none of the troops will be posted in mentoring operations that would require them to accompany Afghan army personnel on combat operations, the sources said. A smaller portion of the Canadian training contingent will work with Afghan police.

Government sources insisted that the training mission will stay within two key restrictions set by Parliament when it voted two years ago to withdraw Canadian combat forces in 2011: none of the soldiers in the post-2011 mission will be in combat, and none will be in Kandahar.
By: Shelldrake

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