Saturday, January 31st, 2009
As Gwynne Dyer points out, this is a public relations exercise. “Of course they’ll have the numbers,” he said. “It will be the guys who aren’t in Afghanistan, and they’re going to be out there looking pretty, on the streets … for traffic control, crowd control. Public exposure, you know? There’s no downside.” Will the conditioning take in Vancouver? Will they begin to think of troops in the streets as … normal?
Rod Mickleburgh, Globe and Mail
January 31, 2009
VANCOUVER – With frigates in the harbour and jets zooming overhead next month during the first active Olympic security exercise, residents here will not need a reminder that Canada’s hard-pressed military will play a major role in one of the largest peacetime security operations in the country’s history.
An estimated 4,000 members of the armed forces will be seconded to Olympic duties in 2010 — far more than the 2,500 to 2,800 military personnel currently deployed in Afghanistan.
There are concerns that the simultaneous needs of both military operations could strain existing resources. Earlier this month, Colonel Christopher Coates, head of the Air Division, expressed worries about having to juggle helicopter demands for Afghanistan and Olympic duties at the same time.