When did Canada depart from its peacekeeping role to active warfare?

Traditionally, at least for several decades, Canada was known around the world for its peacekeeping role.

Traditionally, at least for several decades, Canada was known around the world for its peacekeeping role.

On all of our travels, especially to Europe, we heard very positive comments about Canada being a peacekeeper in the world.

This changed when Canada had an active combat role in Afghanistan for 11 years. A war that cost the lives of more than 150 young Canadians, many more severely injured and almost all soldiers returning with PTSD that effects not only them, but their children, wives and parents, not to mention the tremendous cost the Canadian taxpayer to the tune of $ 45,000 a day times 11 years.

That is just for the war effort, not the cost of treating returning soldiers, some for life.

What exactly was accomplished in Afghanistan? Was it worth that kind of human and financial cost?

Now we are in war again, this time in Iraq, active combat, fighter jets, plus boots on the ground? Why could we not stick to a peacekeeping mission and humanitarian aid?

Last week, the first Canadians died on Canadian soil perhaps in response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to actively participate in another war. Canadian secret service officials and RCMP said the first one likely won’t be the only one. They don’t have the finances to monitor all ISIL-influenced young men in Canada!

Are we willing to risk these kinds of attacks on Canadian soil? Are we ready to sacrifice very young Canadian lives again? Are we willing to pay tens of thousands daily to another long drawn-out war?

In a recent letter, Get behind our war effort, the author writes that he sensed a lack of patriotism. Really, is it patriotic to go to war against a country that has not attacked Canada? This is not political, it is staying out of foreign country wars and most of all staying with our peacekeeping mission and humanitarian aid!

The cost of burden of this war is not on ‘government coffers,’ it is taxpayers’ money.

Do what we did in the Second World War, sell government stamps and war bonds? What? I and apparently millions of Canadians would not buy any as I am not for involving Canada in another war. I am totally behind NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who is right that this is not a UN-sanctioned operation.

The letter writer suggests we should go to war singing. Do you also feel like singing when you see the coffins coming back on Canadian soil?

In the 1980s when terrorism started, strategies were developed to deal with it in the best way. The best way was identified as to not being provoked by the terrorists, to not rush into action and it will end. But now that they have a international coalition to fight, it won’t.

So, Canada, get ready for another long, drawn-out war effort with huge human loss, including Canadians, and a tremendous financial cost in a very fragile global economy.

Ilse Quick

Lacombe

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