I was tempted to entitle this Mischief Mismanaged but not all of my readings are Harry Potter fans AND I don't think the Canadian government is up to mischief. I do think that it is mismanaging its message management. The Globe and Mail has a good piece documenting how it has screwed up the messaging around Mali. The Harper folks have to do more to assure the public that it will not send folks into combat because it keeps sending mixed signals, denying then affirming various decisions. To be clear, I still believe that there will be no combat troops sent by Canada to confront the Islamists in Mali.
I am at a conference in Fredericton with the Gregg Centre at the University of New Brunswick and the Combat Training Centre at Gagetown as hosts. The audience is mostly Canadian army people. When I asserted in my talk that the CF will not be going into combat anytime soon and mentioned my bet with Phil L, an American colonel on exchange in Canada wanted to join the bet on my side--taking the over--no major combat anytime soon. A senior Canadian officer basically indicated that he would be in a wheel chair the next time Canada goes off to combat--which would be years and years down the road.
On a related note, a general wanted to speak with me about stuff that I had written--and that clearly became my piece at CIC on "Do they teach denial in basic training?" I thought, uh oh. But the conversation actually turned out to be quite good. I didn't have to retreat but did appreciate the clarifications he suggested. Divisions within CF more than denial CF denies.
But now I must go to the conference again.