There can be no decisive victory against the Islamic State without putting boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, says Canada Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Canada defense minister Harjit Sajjan has stated that a ground operation against the Islamic State is inevitable since it has been proved that the terrorist group cannot be defeated only with airstrikes.
However, the words of Canada defense minister Harjit Sajjan, though seemingly true, may not have as much weight as the outspoken minister would have liked because the country’s army needs to carry out some rather important work at home.
It must integrate more women and members from the minorities into the service. This means that despite the declaration by Canada defense minister Harjit Sajjan, Canadian army not become involved in ground operations against Daesh.
Later this year, Canada will withdraw its aeroplanes from Syria and Iraq. This has already annoyed some people in the United States and its coalition, but Canada defense minister Harjit Sajjan explained that the fighter jets are not serving any purpose. If Daesh has to be defeated, there must be a ground campaign against it. He said: “Of course they want to keep our CF-18s there,”
Canada defense minister Harjit Sajjan also said in a radio program that an aerial campaign alone may not be the most responsible thing to do in Syria and Iraq in the present situation. He further said:
The responsible thing, in my opinion, is to make sure we, as a coalition partner, look at the current situation, the needs of the coalition,” he said. “When you look at the current situation, the conversation is […] ‘How do we target more?”
Airstrikes may have been successful in the initial stages of the war when Daesh was in the open, but they will not prove effective at all. The group is too entrenched to be dislodged simply by dropping a few bombs. The battle has reached a phase where one must identify and define the target and have the ability to assert impact on the ground.
Canada has supplied CF-18 fighter jets that are currently part of the US led coalition taking part in the aerial campaign against ISIS which currently outlawed in several countries. There are Canadian Special Forces deployed in the region which are taking part in training the Iraqi Kurds. The recently elected prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has stated that all Canadian aircrafts will be recalled by March this year.
After insisting that a ground campaign is necessary for dislodging Daesh, Canada Defense minister Harjit Sajjan immediately implied that the same can be done by Canadian troops alone. He seemed to say that an ‘advise and assist’ approach towards Iraqi Arabs and Kurds will prove effective in the long run. He said:
Just as we phased our training in Afghanistan and were able to slowly pull away, this is one of the effective tools we’re very good at.”
Sajjan has been on military missions in Afghanistan at least three times.