First the government’s “backgrounder“:
Canada’s new approach to addressing the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria and impacts on the region: promoting security and stability
Now consider that the new government has decided that Canada’s air force will no longer kill the bad guys directly with weapons from the RCAF’s own fighter jets. Apparently that is not something with which we should bloody our hands doing–even though in fact our aircrew seem (pace what the prime minister says about what our forces are really good at) to have a “competitive advantage” in accurate bombing over some other members of this coalition (see the tweet here).
Therefore rather than ourselves do some killing as an essential part of our military activities Canada will instead:
1) Continue to deploy our aerial tanker to refuel coalition aircraft to help those planes conduct lethal airstrikes;
2) Continue to deploy two surveillance (ISR) aircraft to help identify targets for those coalition jets to bomb;
3) Continue to employ those ISR platforms to help the Peshmerga (Iraqi Kurds) in deadly offensive and defensive operations against ISIS; and
4) Continue on the ground to train, advise and assist those Kurdish forces so that in military actions they can combat and kill ISIS opponents.
So one can only conclude that all sorts of other people, but not Canadians, must go on killing the enemy directly. Our military, for their part, will simply do what they can–within the resources allocated by the government–to help those other people do the wet work. Canadians themselves AS A MATTER OF POLICY will not be tasked with killing enemies as part of their mission. If that be not moral dishonesty what might be? Moral ignorance in fact.
Here’s video of the prime minister and three other ministers announcing the government’s “new approach” at a press conference February 8; and here’s video (after a bit) of the national defence minister spinning that approach as best he can.
Perhaps somewhere in the background this may have helped in some way shape the thinking of some members of the government:
‘Twould seem some people suffer from a quease factor. Clean(ish) hands, eh? Put another way: I train the shooter; I find his target; I point it out to him; and then that shooter pulls the trigger for the kill shot. Feel better?
A more temperate appreciation from CGAI Fellow Prof. Steve Saideman:
Trudeau’s New Anti-ISIS Policy