Combating terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere will take time, says Baird

As the federal cabinet considers sending fighter jets to Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggests Canada and other countries could be in for a long mission.

OTTAWA — As the federal cabinet considers sending fighter jets to Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggests Canada and other countries could be in for a long mission.

Baird predicts that battling extremists in Iraq and elsewhere will take time and says Canada is in uncharted territory when it comes to directly engaging terrorist elements.

“Terrorism, radical extremism, this is the great struggle of our generation,” the minister said.

“Whether it’s in Iraq, whether it’s in Nigeria with Boko Haram, whether it’s with al-Shabaab in Somalia … there’s no quick fixes.”

The federal cabinet is considering the possible deployment of CF-18 jets, along with surveillance aircraft, following an American request for Canada to become more involved in the ever-expanding air war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Baird says he won’t speculate on what decision he, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and their cabinet colleagues will reach.

But he told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday that cabinet will play off recent military experiences in Libya and Afghanistan in deciding.

National Defence officials and critics question how long Canada could sustain such a combat mission, given the age of its fighter fleet and other commitments.

Canada already has four CF-18s flying air policing missions over the Baltic as part of NATO’s eastern European reassurance measures on behalf of Ukraine.

Following the Libya bombing campaign of 2011, there was concern in the air force that the CF-18 fleet was already being driven too hard, even with life-extension upgrades completed under the former Liberal government.

Just Posted

‘I was bawling’: Injured Bronco’s mother stunned by his progress after surgery

The mother of a hockey player paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus… Continue reading

Isolated Iceland newly vulnerable to computer scams

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — “Hi, I hope you are not busy?” The treasurer… Continue reading

Two in five indebted Canadians don’t ever expect to escape debt, says survey

TORONTO — A new survey says 40 per cent of indebted Canadians… Continue reading

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

VANCOUVER — A pioneering study of seven belugas in Canada’s remote Arctic… Continue reading

Federal laws at heart of western anger up for debate as Liberals begin outreach

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly backed up his pledge for… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Opinion: Progress at city hall provides good reason for optimism

In May, the City of Red Deer hired its new city manager,… Continue reading

Kelowna picked to host 2021 Brier

Kelowna, B.C., is set to host the Canadian men’s curling championship for… Continue reading

Canada wins doubles match to advance to Davis Cup semifinals

MADRID — Canada has advanced to the semifinals at the Davis Cup… Continue reading

Nova Scotia’s Barbara Hannigan already has a Grammy, but this nod is especially personal

Picking up her third Grammy nomination is wonderful in itself, but for… Continue reading

Some binge-worthy options for holiday gift season

NEW YORK — Chances are there’s at least one TV binger on… Continue reading

Humphries formally selected for USA Bobsled’s national team

Kaillie Humphries is officially part of USA Bobsled’s national team. The two-time… Continue reading

Hamilton receiver Banks leads East domination at CFL awards banquet

CALGARY — After dominating the 2019 regular season, Brandon Banks and the… Continue reading

Most Read