Vanguard Magazine

Oct/Nov 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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A fghanistan was bloody and many would like to forget it. But beyond Afghanistan, we should not be fooled into believing the next confl ict will not be so messy and improvised bombs will not con- tinue to be a major threat. As i write, over the past two days, outside Afghanistan and iraq, there have been at least 11 bomb attacks in six countries leaving 26 dead and 96 injured; this is an average day of improvised explosive in- cidents. Homemade bombs have likely been around since the chinese invention of black powder was militarized by eu- ropeans 700 years ago. From Guy Fawkes' exploits be- neath the english parliament in 1605, bombs used to derail thousands of German trains during World War two, booby traps in Vietnam that with mines caused over 33 percent of American causalities, to pipe bombs in northern ireland, improvised explosive devices (ieD) continue to be a threat. C COveR 30 octoBer/noVeMBer 2014 COUNTER-IED Colonel Mike M. Minor cD, MBA, is commander/Director of canadian Armed Forces Joint counter explosive threat task Force. A pervasive, global threat still remains What is nonetheless different today is that the impro- vised explosive threat is globally pervasive, persistent, and growing as asymmetric confl ict blurs borders in an era of persistent social, political, and religious ideologi- cal confl ict. The IED has gone from being a peripheral concern to a predominant threat to Canada and its citi- zens, and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed on operations. Like the battle against U-boats during the Second World War, this threat requires a cross government overmatch to make it less relevant. This is not fully appreciated within Canada and the CAF, and there is a belief by some that the explosive threat ended with the termination of Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan in 2011. Consequently, it is pos- sible Canada's signifi cant counter explosive threat (CET) capability, based on knowledge, experience, training, awareness, technology and equipment will not be fully institutionalized, but lost under the weight of fi scal pres- sure. Others believe existing government, agency, and departmental "silos of excellence" are suffi cient to deal with the challenge – they too are wrong. Continued, and even greater, interdepartmental and agency effort is required to ensure Canada maintains and improves its CET capability to be ready for risks prevalent today – and those "around the corner." It should examine our experience in Afghanistan; the growing risks and threats at home and abroad; nefarious state and non-state actors and the adaptable networks

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