Archive | February, 2010

Civilian deaths mar Afghan offensive

A highly-touted offensive to clear Taliban insurgents from a stronghold in Afghanistan’s Helmand province has been marred by reports of numerous civilian deaths. Over the course of two days, ISAF troops have been involved in as many as five separate incidents with civilians, leaving up to 20 non-combatants dead.  This includes reports of up to twelve […]

Cluster bomb ban to enter into force August 1st

Good news from the Cluster Munition Coalition: Cluster bomb ban treaty reaches 30th ratification milestone Will become binding international law on 1 August 2010 (London, 16 February 2010) – Burkina Faso and Moldova ratified the international Convention banning cluster munitions today, bringing the total number of ratifications to 30 and triggering entry into force on […]

850 additional German troops to be deployed to Afghanistan

As promised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the recent London Conference on Afghanistan, the German cabinet has approved the deployment 850 additional German soldiers to Afghanistan (“The German cabinet approves deployment of an extra 850 soldiers to Afghanistan,” Deutsche-Welle, 9 February 2010). The increase, which still has to be approved by the Bundestag (the lower house […]

Stable opium cultivation predicted in Afghanistan

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) predicts that the number of hectares used for opium cultivation in Afghanistan will remain stable in 2010, but that the number of tonnes produced may decline. The prediction was made in Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010: Winter Rapid Assessment, released on 10 February 2010. The UN based its assessment […]

Public eyes defence spending for cuts?

A new poll by EKOS Research shows that the most popular option for reducing the federal deficit is cutting government spending. According to the poll, 46% of Canadians favour spending cuts, compared to 14% who favour raising taxes, 10% who want to continue to run deficits, and 30% who don’t know. But while it’s not […]