Court Martial Of Brigadier General Daniel Menard

Heavy fighting erupted in Thailand and I was slightly set back from Afghanistan dispatches. Am back to work on a series of major Afghanistan dispatches.

Meanwhile, 33,000 people have signed up for my Facebook feed and about 10,000 at Twitter. Please see the interesting string on Facebook re BG Menard and Afghanistan.

Thank you,
Michael Yon



# Corsair8X 2010-05-24 04:29
On facebook you implied he's being charged with incompetence. The truth is he's being charged with negligent discharge of a weapon. Officers must go through a type of courts martial for this. However your facebook page suggests a lot more with a blanket statement such as incompetence. I am suspicious as this sort of comes across as the journalistic equivelant of "cooking the books". I hope that's not the case and was an oversight made due to haste.

I too worry about McCrystal a lot. He seems focused on things other than an actual fight. And yet it doesn't seem very COIN related either.
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# Ross 2010-05-24 07:04
Mr. Yon,

I'm a HUGE fan of your work, and generally side with your (usually logical) point of view on political nonsense. But in this case, I'm not sure I can agree. You've claimed that BG Menard is incompetent, and negligent discharge of his firearm (my French is rusty--that IS what he's on trial for, isn't it?) does nothing to disprove that. That said, it also does nothing to substantiate your assertions that he should be fired.

I think the reason I'm so upset is because it seems to me that all this petty politicking is beneath you--I've followed your work for years, and I've never seen you do this before. I understand your frustration and share it (particularly in the case of General McChrystal), but you're watering down your own arguments when you take cheap shots...
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# Michael Yon Author 2010-05-24 08:12
Good points above. Some clarification:

My assertion of incompetence originally stemmed from the fact the BG Menard allowed the crucial Tarnak River Bridge to be blown up on March 1. The negligent discharge was just a period at the end of the sentence.

This dispatch explains:

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# Kevin 2010-05-29 16:01
Michael, it sounds like there is more to the story?

Canadian commander in Afghanistan dismissed - The Canadian military says the chief of Canadian forces in Afghanistan, Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard, has been relieved following allegations of an inappropriate relationship.
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+1 # Darren 2010-05-29 16:47
Mr. Yon,

I know that you have a slight "disappointment " with Canadian Leadership but I do recall that on April, 17th 2002 under the command of the 101st airborne that an american decided to drop a 500lb bomb on a company of canadians at Tarnak Farm who were doing live fire training. The Canadians were training to support a group of american Special Forces up in Khost with airport security. So a United States Military Major under command from americans made a mistake and you know killed 4 canadians and wounded 8 (and more mentally) so the world is not perfect or none of us would be there.
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# Andrew 2010-05-29 19:58
I know you dislike the guy Michael but why do you want credit for him being relieved? You speak of it being expensive.. did you personally pay the female officer to sleep with him, then inform his commander?
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# LTC Christopher J. Stark USA Ret. 2010-05-30 10:40
Thanks for the news about finally getting rid of that incompetant bastard--BG Menard. He has gotten a lot of soldiers and civilians killed, while he was having a good time [censored] his female staff member. Losing the Tarnak River Bridge ranks right up there as the number 1 strategic blunder of this war.
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# john doe 2010-06-01 13:01
Apparently Menard's little fuckbuddy is a Corporal. Media reports state that she confided with a friend who notified the chain of command. If her allegation is true, for her sake I hope she has more evidence. If she doesn't, she could be court martialled for making a false statement, subversion and possibly treason.
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# john doe 2010-06-01 13:15
Who is this faggot Yon? Canadians don't shy away from combat. On a per capita basis, we've taken more casualties than any other NATO/Coalition force in Afghanistan. While the US was sorting out a much less volatile situation (which they erroneously created thus prolonging this war) in IRAQ, our 2500 were holding the line in Kandahar - alone until 2008. By the way, Canadian soldiers are the best trained in the world and we consider American soldiers as second-rate and prone to mistakes, such as the USAF bombing us at Tarnak. (I might add that that mistake was reminicent of the 8th US Airforce brilliantly wiping out the 3rd Canadian Division at Carpequet in 1944.) We punch above our weight, which is why you guys failed in invading us in 1812.
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+1 # Louise 2010-06-22 06:31
This is one Canadian who is bloody sick and tired about our boasting about 1812. Fer Christ sake. That was two centuries ago.
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# Erik 2010-11-20 07:39
I was there for that, i wouldn't exactly blame menard, the bridge was hit but a sucide bomber attacking an ANA convoy, which undoubtedly caused some structure damage. We ended up just dumping dirt in the river for the 2 weeks it took to fix it and just forded it. it wasn't even really much of an issue for ISAF just civis.

In terms of menard i never did quite figure him out, i know there was alot of micromanaging going down at Mcchrystal level in our area especially(Zhar i, Panjawai) anytime we would get an op rolling it would get shut down from higher.
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