Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Pat Stogran, who spoke at York last week, has been quoted as saying that the deployment in Afghanistan proved to the Canadian public and the world that Canadian troops are more than just peacekeepers. He also recently told a senate committee of the Canadian Parliament that Canadian forces are struggling to meet their goals on existing funding.
Commander of the 850 Canadian soldiers who fought in Afghanistan this year and a 26-year veteran of the Canadian infantry, Stogran was at York on Nov. 29 discussing Canada’s military capability and involvement in the war against terrorism. His visit was organized by the York Centre for International and Security Studies.
Stogran”s talk tied in with Prime Minister Jean Chretién’s recent announcement at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Prague that Canada will increase defence spending and will be part of NATO’s new rapid response force to combat terror. Canada has been named as a target, along with the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Australia in a recent communiqué believed to have been issued by Osama bin Laden to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Stogran’s command in Afghanistan, the first combat deployment of Canadian ground troops since the Korean War, saw the loss of four Canadian soldiers to friendly fire from an American military aircraft.