Monday, November 25, 2013

Everything is Relative: Understanding CF Polls

I am confused about the numbers coming back from the Canadian Forces.  They surveyed those doing training in Afghanistan and found that morale was not what they hoped.  Only one third were optimistic about the training mission?  You mean the one where some of the folks being trained (those by other countries) were shooting the trainers?  That the Afghan military has heaps of flaws and the government is deeply problematic and the funding depends entirely on the international community?  Um, is one third being optimistic low or crazy-high?

Only 58% that that their mission was significant or important?  Wait, this is low?  A significant hunk of the CF trainers think their mission is important, more than the percentage required for Quebec to separate from Canada or Scotland from the UK and that is low?  I am very confused. 

The only really disturbing number is that 59% felt psychological distress, similar to what the previous contingents engaged in combat felt.  However, given that this mission is now what these guys spent their career training for, that they could get shot by someone they were training at any moment, and that the government was running away from the mission, not that big of a surprise.

Overall, I think this report is interesting, but I am not sure how much of this is really bad news or just signs of a realistic military that answers questions pretty honestly.  Perhaps I am too cynical?

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