Canadian troops to leave safety of bases to 'live' with Afghans
A Canadian soldier patrols Kandahar city during Eid celebrations, Afghanistan, Nov. 27, 2009. (Jonathan Montpetit / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, December 13, 2009 12:17PM EST
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard says operating bases that have been home to Canadian infantry in Kandahar province will become increasingly empty.
Instead, he tells The Canadian Press, the troops will be moving out of the relative safety of the bases into Kandahar city and other large towns.
It's the only way, he says, to show Afghans that coalition troops are willing to share the risks they face from the insurgents.
Menard says the presence of 2,000 American troops now under his command will also allow him to tackle towns such as Senjaray.
With about 13,000 people, Senjaray is the second largest place after Kandahar city itself.
It's also in Zhari district, an area firmly under Taliban control that has proved deadly for Canadian soldiers in past years.