Archive for August, 2011

Canadian Name Change, Taliban attack in Kabul…

Posted in Afghanistan War on August 19, 2011 by maccaulay


Beginning earlier this week, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced that the Canadian Forces’ separate commands will be reverting to their pre-1968 names: the Maritime Command will return to being the Royal Canadian Navy, the Air Command will become the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Land Command will once again be the Canadian Army.

This is a return to the designations that the services served under in World War II, and is probably being done more as a public relations move than anything else. However the good it’ll be doing for the services’ esprit de corps shouldn’t be undersold: this is something that a fairly vocal group of veterans has been pushing for for a long time.

The move does have it’s detractors, however: Paul Hellyer, the Defence Minister who spearheaded the original name change in 1968, is vocal about in his belief that this is the wrong course. “This is a step back towards pseudo-colonialism,” he remarked soon after news broke. The action group Citizens for a Canadian Republic is also calling for a full accounting of the cost of the name change.

For myself, at the risk of editorializing, I think it’s a good move. There is a history associated with the names RCAF, RCN, and Canadian Army. These are the names that kept the supply line open to Britain in 1940, stormed Juno Beach in 1944, held the line at Kapyong, Korea in 1951, and fortified Germany during the first part of the Cold War. While Hellyer can be understood in his wish to move Canada past it’s British roots, he must understand that these names are historical because of Canadian accomplishments, not British ones. That in itself makes them intrinsically Canadian names.



On the heels of the anniversary of the Anglo-Afghan War, Taliban suicide bombers have attacked a British cultural center in Kabul. According to BBC World Service, there are currently 4 dead and 4 wounded, as well as a suicide bomber still inside the structure itself.

The attack was against the outside of the building, though it seems that by the presence of the survivor, at least one Taliban attacker was able to make it inside the cultural center. I’ll deliver more on this as it becomes available.