Harper’s Proposed Iraq Mission Includes 600 Military Men

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plan to battle Islamic State extremists in Iraq includes more than 600 members of the Canadian military taking part in a combat mission to send CF-18 fighter jets. The plan is yet to be debated and voted on in the House of Commons early next week. The plan is already turning out to be politically explosive as both opposition parties, namely the New Democrats and the Liberals, have already rejected PM Harper’s plan and have vowed to oppose it.

The motion is anticipated to be debated on Monday and will most likely pass despite oppositions’ resistance since the governing Conservatives have a clear majority. During an address to the House of Commons on Friday, Mr. Harper stressed that his plan does not includes on ground combat by Canadian soldiers and that he is trying to prevent Canada from being sucked into a “prolonged quagmire.” He mentioned that “in a democracy, especially one approaching an election, there is rarely political upside in supporting any kind of military action, and little political risk in opposing it,” adding that Canada will not ask other countries to bear the military burden against Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

PM Harper highlighted that Canada has left “tough things for others” and so “we should be under no illusion” that “if Canada wants to keep its voice in the world, and we should, since so many of our challenges are global, being a free rider means one is not taken seriously.”

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