Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Accident? Try again BGen Grant.

Something has been bugging me since I first heard of the IED (roadside bomb) which killed three Canadian troops on June 20th at Ma'Sum Ghar, Afghanistan. The tragedy of three young men being killed is bad enough, but it was a comment made by Brigadier General Tim Grant which set me back. (Emphasis mine)
"So a determined enemy was clearly able to penetrate the defences and the observation in the area to plant this device," Grant said.

Asked whether it was a judgment error to use this vehicle in hostile territory, Grant replied: "No. This is an unfortunate accident."

"The vehicle was appropriate to the task at hand ... It was in terrain that was suited to this vehicle, as opposed to others."

Say, what?!

How in hell is that an "accident"?

Grant admitted that defences had been penetrated and an unobserved enemy planted a mine on, what should have been, a proven roadway or track. How does that get classified an "accident"?

Without the benefit of additional information it looks like an enemy managed to breach security and successfully take out a Canadian vehicle and its troops. That's no "accident". That, it would appear, is precisely what the opposition intended to do.

In my recollection it is the first time I have ever heard of troops being killed due to enemy action referred to as an "accident".

And, as appropriate as a John Deere Gator may have been to the task before perimeter security was breached and an insurgent mine was planted, it isn't anymore. The proof of that is coming home in caskets.

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