OTTAWA, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Canada spent $189 million to send reinforcements, including Leopard tanks, to support Canadian troops in Afghanistan, the country's defense minister said.
"That's transportation, plus what was necessary to get all the equipment up to standard for operations," Gordon O'Connor told the House of Commons.
The Canadian military has deployed five 42-ton German-made Leopards -- known for their good cross-country speed -- in Afghanistan, and plans to add another 12 next month, O'Connor said.
Some military experts and others have expressed concern the Leopards could further alienate Afghans already suspicious of foreign troops, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"Are we concerned ... that the use of tanks among the local population, and particularly the use of air power, is such that it's destroying our capacity to reach out to the local population?" opposition leader Bill Graham asked.
O'Connor said NATO forces in Afghanistan have used appropriate tactics.