04 May 2010

Acknowledging our allies: Canada

I've been getting a number of hits from Canada recently, so I decided I'd not only dedicate a post to one of our closest allies, but also an entire week to our allies in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Americans and Canadians fought alongside one another at Normandy Beach; serve together in North American Aerospace Defense's Cheyenne Mountain; and took part in fierce fighting during Operation Mountain Thrust in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Canadian forces worked with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the US Army's 10th Mountain Division during Operation Mountain Thrust. This brigade calls Fort Drum, New York its home--located a mere 20 miles from the Canadian border)

I'm also risking getting my American citizenship taken away when I say this, but we Americans occasionally acknowledge some pieces of Canadian equipment as superior, copying them for ourselves. Just look at the Canadian Army's "CADPAT", a pixelated camouflage pattern which the US Armed Forces later adopted. You might also notice a bit of a similarity between Canada's family of Light Armored Vehicles and the US Marine Corps' LAV-25 and the US Army's Stryker.

One of my followers from the other side of Lake Ontario is Ian Elliot, who wrote an excellent article in the local paper about a Canadian poet, Suzanne Steele, who accompanied Canada's Princess Patricia Light Infantry into battle in Afghanistan. Although Steele reportedly had no connection to the Canadian Armed Forces, she felt compelled to chronicle their story, after noticing that few media outlets in Canada seemed to be talking about the sacrifice of their troops. Steele has a blog at warpoet.ca, where she talks about everything from the loss of her newly-made friends, to the closing of local fast food joints at Kandahar Airfield. She's now being added to the blogroll.

I also noticed a few backlinks from a message forum for Canadian troops. Seems that not much changes when you cross the St. Lawrence Seaway--PowerPoint sucks in Canada, too, apparently.

Finally, I should mention that today is Dutch Liberation Day, a holiday made possible largely by the contributions of the Canadian Army. Oddly enough, few Americans would have guessed that Canadian troops featured so prominently in the Netherlands campaign, as the efforts of American, British and Polish troops in the ill-fated Operation Market-Garden are more well-known.

I hereby salute the efforts of our allies to the north, and formally request that any Canadian milbloggers sound off--I'd love to read about the job you're doing in Afghanistan.


Babbling Brooks said...

Much obliged for your comments about us neighbours to your north. The Torch is Canada's foremost milblog. Pretty much Canada's only milblog, for that matter. Queen's Regulations and Orders are very different from the UCMJ, not to mention protections of freedom of speech. So our guys and gals in uniform aren't nearly as free to speak as you folks are.

Anyhow, if you're looking for information on the Canadian Forces, we'd love you to drop by.

Starbuck said...

Will do. I've added The Torch to the blogroll!

El Goyito said...

I'll also give a shout-out to our Canadian friends. Nearly all of the USAmerican teams who come to Mexico for orphanage building projects have canceled this summer due to Drug War violence but one noble Canadian team is still coming. So I say kudos to the Canucks!

Rex Brynen said...

It's good of you not to mention the occupation of Montreal during the US War of Independence, the War of 1812, the Fenian Raids, Confederation (in part, a military alliance against the perceived threat of American expansionism), or Plan Red/Crimson and its counterpart Defence Scheme No. 1 (our respective contingency plans to invade each other in the 1920s and 1930s). Even our national capital is located in Ottawa because of our history of military confrontation!

I'm just kidding, of course. It is striking, however, how much of Canada's history and political geography was shaped by more than a century of military tensions with the US--and how very close the defence relationship has been since WWII.

Starbuck said...

Haha, Rex, you bring up a good point. I live on a battlefield from the War of 1812, so I was a little hesitant to mention anything about that portion of history...

Starbuck said...

By the way, Rex, I love your work over at PaxSims.