That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Regarding the UAE

I’m not quite gone yet 🙂

Thought I’d highlight one of the WikiLeaks cables in particular, concerning the U.S. relationship with the UAE. It’s a glowing assessment largely, and one that might be used in argument against Ottawa’s dismissiveness regarding the recent utter breakdown of our relations with the Gulf State…

(S/NF) The UAE is one of our closest partners in the Middle East and one of our most useful friends worldwide.

— Al-Dhafra Air Force Base is the high altitude ISR hub for the AOR, and supports 50 percent of aerial refueling in the AOR.

— Ports in Dubai and Fujairah are the logistics backbone for the U.S. Fifth. Jebel Ali (Dubai) is the most frequented USN liberty port after Norfolk.

— Minhad Air Base is a critical hub for Coalition/ISAF partners in Afghanistan, including the Australians, Dutch, Canadians, Brits and Kiwis.

— The UAE is a cash customer with FMS sales in excess of $11 billion. Commercial sales have an equivalent value. An additional $12 billion of FMS cases are in development with approximately the same volume of commercial sales in the works.

Afghanistan: UAE SOF has been quietly deployed as part of OEF since 2003, and the UAE surged its contribution in 2009 adding a combined arms task force. The UAE’s UAV capability has been a much appreciated force multiplier. On the economic development side, the UAE has pledged about $300 M in assistance, and quietly supported the Afghan Reintegration Fund at the recent London Conference. You should thank MbZ for his leadership in being the first Arab country to send troops to Afghanistan.

Filed under: Canada, International, Politics, , , , ,

Parliament of puppets

As I prepare for a month-long trip to South America this week, I thought I’d leave you with a little puppet show I put together last year to commemorate the prorogation of Parliament. Harper, Ignatieff, Layton and co. all have their chance to shine in what served as a little alternative House of Commons, established in a shoebox in my kitchen. Even better than the real thing 🙂 Enjoy!

I’ll try to update the blog with travel-related bits of interest while I’m away, but will probably leave any of the normal political bits and bobs until January, when the lure of mountain treks and dinners of steak and riojas have become but distant memories. Sniff.

Adios till then!

Filed under: Canada, Politics, Travel, , , , , , ,


November 2010

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