Ending ISIS airstrikes counter productive for Canadian military

Ending ISIS airstrikes counter productive for Canadian military
Posted on February 13, 2016 | Bob Barrigar | Written on February 13, 2016
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As someone who has served in the Canadian Army, worked for the Defence Research Board, and followed Canadian defence policy and practice for many years, I am uneasy about the withdrawal of our air strike force from the Middle East.

What is the primary purpose of having a Canadian military? Surely the answer is the defence of Canada. This requires the ability to fight when needed. Such ability depends upon experience. The US military has evolved successfully partly because over the years it has engaged in active combat frequently and intensively. This has led to improved weaponry, communications, intelligence, and battle procedures. As a side benefit, combat experience leads to superior training.

The Canadian military, by abstaining from significant active combat since the Korean War 60-plus years ago, has fallen behind, and cannot claim to be battleworthy. We have been aware for some time that Islamic State is a determined enemy of all western nations, including Canada. A Canadian combat role in the Middle East will generate long-term defence benefits for us.

Our Minister of Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan refuses to acknowledge that we are at war with Islamic State.  History tells us that denial of what is plainly evident is never successful nor useful.  And denial inevitably invokes deferral and delay, to the disadvantage of those who deny.  Why is there so much difficulty in learning from the highly important and relevant Chamberlain/Churchill example of the foregoing in our global history?

-- Bob B

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retired patent attorney