October 13, 2006
Canada troops battle 10-foot Afghan marijuana plants
OTTAWA, Canada (Reuters) -- Canadian troops fighting
Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected
and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants
10 feet tall.
General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense
staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests
In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged
their vehicle with marijuana.
The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very
readily. It's very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices.
... And as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban
don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests," he said
in a speech in Ottawa, Canada.
We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work.
We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants
are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn
them," he said.
Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.
A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests]
did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind
from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not
the right course of action," Hiller said dryly.
told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I
joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."
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