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Making Waves

Winning in Afghanistan

By Diana Meder

Here's a bit of encouraging news from the front lines in Afghanistan.

Canada's air wing in Kandahar has started flying night-time patrols aimed at stopping the Taliban from planting roadside bombs.

Two Griffon helicopters -- equipped with night-vision -- are now scouring the Kandahar countryside in the search of roadside bombers, who've inflicted terrible losses on Canadian troops.

They've already proven themselves -- on a recent patrol, the choppers uncovered two suspected roadside bombs near Canadian positions.

Mission commanders, say the insurgents know what they're up to because it's hard to hide the sound of a helicopter, but even that is apparently helpful as a deterrent.

For the past year and a half -- the U-S has been using a similar strategy in Iraq, which has helped cut down on the number of casualties.

It might surprise you to hear that half the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Kandahar have died in roadside bombings.

For the last four years, the Defence Department has resisted deploying the Griffons to Kandahar but was forced to late last fall when new Chinook battlefield transport helicopters needed protective escort.

So while we watch and worry about troops in Afghanistan -- at least a little bit of encouraging news -- that maybe we'll be able to stop at least some of the carnage and be able to bring home as many of our troops as possible in 2011. 

From Where I Sit... I'm Diana Meder


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