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

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read