Our present mission in Afghanistan has changed the future of conflict for Canada's military. Prior to the Afghan war, dating back to the war in Korea, our role around the world has been peacekeeping in which we were governed by the United Nations and limited not only in our rules of engagement, but the requirement of military in this purpose.
The requirement was laid at the feet of the Infantry and Engineers and some support trades. For other units to join a tour they would have to shed their primary role and take on the role of an Infantry Unit.
For instance, an Artillery Unit would have to train in an Infantry role in order to carry out a tour to the Former Yugoslavia or Cypress. While there is training value in infantry skills, it does little to improve the combat readiness of the Artillery Unit and its effectiveness.
At present we are engaged in Afghanistan with full land and air support. Artillery, Armoured, CBT Engineer and Infantry Units are working together effectively to complete a difficult mission against an agressive and dangerous foe.
Not since the Korean war have our soldiers been engaged in such a venture and while what I am saying here may draw fire from pacifists (no pun intended) the reality is that this will ready our soldiers for future conflicts.
Canadian soldiers and future recruits will benefit from this conflict. Training will no longer be based on fictious enemies or battlefields. The benefit to future generations of soldiers will be priceless.
Godspeed to our Troops