Much has been written about the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies and tactics being used in Afghanistan and Iraq—or rather not. Back in 2007-2008, during my army days in Kandahar, I remember commanders endlessly bragging about how "we totally nail that COIN thing," always gargling out quotes from the likes of COIN scholar David Galula. He was a French army officer who fought … [Read more...] about The invisible kill: Snipers and counterinsurgency warfare
Martin Forgues Articles
Author's note: "They're Still At War" will be a multi-part series dealing with underreported or fully ignored low- to medium-intensity conflicts around the world. Over the next few weeks, we'll cover countries such as Central African Republic, Congo, Yemen, and others. The first part deals with Mali. France's military intervention in Mali has been mostly over for more than a … [Read more...] about Still At War: Mali
Both the United States and Canada are on the brink of an election, during which defence issues will be central. With the escalating war against ISIS, rising tensions with Russia, and Arctic sovereignty in the balance, war and electoralism have become exceedingly close, marking the return of a temptation politicians can't quite resist, regardless of consequences. Let's … [Read more...] about War and Electoralism: A Canadian Cautionary Tale for Americans (Pt. 1)
Following months of political pressure from Western powers engaged in the fight against ISIS, and due to the fact that an estimated 3,000 of its citizens have joined the self-proclaimed caliphate, Turkey finally hopped on the war bandwagon. They've begun bombing ISIS positions along the Turkey-Syria border and allowing allied use of a strategically located air base in … [Read more...] about Is Turkey the New Pakistan?
Ever since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated into a near state of war, the Canadian government has taken a firm stance on the issue—siding with the former Soviet satellite. At the G20 retreat in November 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper even told Russian President Vladimir Putin that "[he'll] shake his hand if he gets out of Ukraine"—tough talk from a prime … [Read more...] about Canadian Troops May Soon Be Caught in Ukrainian Quagmire
The Canadian government recently voted to expand and extend the Canadian Special Operations Regiment's "training and advising" mission in Iraq as well as the air bombing campaign, which will now extends to the Syrian portion of ISIS-controlled territory. With a first soldier killed as a result of friendly fire which revealed that CSOR has been operating on the frontlines, the … [Read more...] about Canadian Special Operations Escalates Its War Against ISIS
I've been writing much over the past few months about how modern psychological operations (PSYOPS) have been underestimated since their very inception, and how such ignorance about their potential has undermined military strategy on modern battlefields like Afghanistan and Iraq. Lessons should have been learned and applied, but a multinational coalition is currently bombing … [Read more...] about PSYOPS Against ISIS: An Asset Still Neglected
With the Islamic State demonstrating state-of-the-art propaganda techniques drawing thousands of foreign fighters into their ranks, psychological operations (PSYOPS) units should be deployed on the first line alongside SOF advisors and the Kurdish forces they support. As a member of the Western coalition currently assisting in the fight on the ground, Canada sent CF-18 fighter … [Read more...] about PSYOPS in Canada Failing to Preserve a Hard-Earned Capability
Author's note: "They're Still At War" will be a multi-part series dealing with underreported or fully ignored low- to medium-intensity conflicts around the world. Over the next few weeks, we'll cover countries such as Central African Republic, Congo, Yemen, and others. The first part deals with Mali. France's military intervention in Mali has been mostly over for more than … [Read more...] about They’re Still At War (Pt. 1): Mali
I must admit that, as a former PSYOP section commander and target audience analyst, I was amused by Loren Schofield's satirical article about the Army making PSYOP an "all-women trade." Loren hasn't been the only one to poke fun at the trade—the ever-hilarious DuffelBlog referred to PSYOP soldiers as "highly-trained radio guards" for Special Forces ODAs. I guess that's what … [Read more...] about Is PSYOP a Lesser Trade?
Canada took the world by surprise when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a 4.5 million-dollar military aid package to be delivered to Ukraine around the same time Russian strongman Vladimir Putin revealed his country's plan to send in a mysterious "humanitarian aid convoy" consisting of over 250 vehicles that suspiciously look like military trucks painted in white - a … [Read more...] about Canadian Military Aid to Ukraine More Than Meets the Eye
Traditionally, threatening a neighbouring nation to rain down fire on them used to be the stuff of official channels and quite obvious foreign policy actions - recalling ambassadors, cutting off diplomatic ties, saber-rattling speeches in Parliament, broadcast on all major radio and TV networks. On August 7, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev took the game to another level as … [Read more...] about Azerbaijan President Threatens Armenia With War…On Twitter