Oscar Company savoring some payback

Canadian soldiers patrolling for IEDs in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, are finding it easier to take out insurgents due to a shortened "kill chain." LOUIE PALU/THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

“Oh ya, baby!” one soldier shouted up at the sky as the airborne gatling gun spewed repeated bursts. Whoops and cheers rippled across the dust-blown camp.

In a war where the enemy hides in villages, and fights mainly with homemade bombs hidden in cooking pots, water jugs, farmer’s fields and trees, it’s not often Canadian soldiers get to fight back.

Oscar Company was savouring some payback, a sweet taste they’ve been enjoying more often in recent days.”


Canadian Commander in Afghanistan Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance

Since Brigadier-General Jon Vance returned to take command in early June, the kill chain has been cut shorter, and Canadian troops on the battlefields of eastern Panjwai district say it’s getting easier to take the fight to the insurgents.

Major Steve Brown, commander of Oscar Company, in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group, called Vance “a no-nonsense kind of guy” whose personality has helped reshape battlefield operations.

We’re getting quite a few stories about the frustration soldiers are having with the operational restrictions brought in by McChrystal (which was actually the focus of the Rolling Stone article that got him fired). I can understand the frustration…but let’s remember why those restrictions were brought in, yes? It’s the big picture. The negative effects of dead civilians almost always outweigh the benefits of dead Taliban.


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