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Mao Zedong observed in a lecture that “armament is an important factor in war...


October 3, 2007
By Ken Pole

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In 1938,three years after becoming chairman of the Chinese Communist
Party but 11 years before the People's Republic was created, Mao Zedong
observed in a lecture that "armament is an important factor in war, but
not the decisive factor…. Man, not material, forms the decisive
factor." Mao also should have acknowledged that until troops can be
delivered to a theatre of operations, the war remains one of words, not
action.A case in point is the current Canadian deployment to
Afghanistan; while technically not a ‘war' despite White House
rhetoric, it still puts Canadian personnel in harm's way.From what I've
seen and read over the past few weeks, it's a challenge they relish –
after all, it's what they train for.

Getting Canadian troops and their gear, notably the impressive
Coyote light-armoured reconnaissance vehicle, to Afghanistan was a job
for the US Air Force for the simple reason that Canada hasn't had
strategic airlift capability for years. A Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) between Ottawa and Washington effectively commits each to provide
the other with required aircraft. In this case, the Canadian troops and
their vehicles and other materiel went to Afghanistan mainly aboard
USAF Lockheed C-5 Galaxy transports with additional capacity provided
by Boeing C-17 Globemasters, MD-11s and 747s as well as the odd Antonov.