Canada’s Response to ISIS

Photo taken form the Guardian.

Photo taken form the Guardian.

As we know, Parliament recently voted to send support to help with the fight against ISIS in northern Iraq. As we read in the Globe and Mail, this amounted to six CF-18s, two bombers, and a refueling plane (not to mention 600 personnel).

The debate in Parliament has created a debate across the country as to what Canada’s role should be in the world.

Robert Fowler, a former diplomat and representative of Canada to the UN, has recently suggested that Canada’s plan will actually be destructive to the movement against ISIS. Below you will find an article from the Globe and Mail and an interview he performed on the CBC’s As it Happens.

CBC – As it Happens – October 6th, 2014

Folwer – Half Measures in the Fight Against the Islamic State…

What do you think? What should Canada’s role be in the fight against ISIS? Do you agree with Mr. Fowler?

In response, be sure to have a strong research question and thesis and use evidence to support all claims that which you make. Respond to your colleagues with dignity and decorum.

Bio on Fowler from the Globe and Mail:

Robert R. Fowler is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the author of A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda. He has served as a foreign-policy adviser to three Canadian prime ministers, as personal representative to Africa for three others, and as deputy minister of national defence, and was Canada’s longest-serving ambassador to the United Nations.

Robert Fowler – A Season in Hell from Matt Henderson on Vimeo.


30 thoughts on “Canada’s Response to ISIS

  1. Canada should go to war. As harsh as it sounds… I hate war but the only way to demolish ISIS is to over do it with military assistance and not just bombing because this will make the people more furious. I completely agree with Fowler that we should provide military assistance and abolish ISIS. We have failed with many other terrorist groups such as Afghanistan (which Fowler talks about). ISIS is like an ants nest… If you step on it, you will destroy their home but also… Make them run away and claim other places in your yard but then the ants rebuild the home you just destroyed. And really the only option is to get “ant” killer. And kill them before they spread!!!

  2. Why does Canada need to have such a big role?

    I think that Canada should have a bigger role in this situation or in any global issues especially since Canada is such a large country and can make a great influence.
    Canada cannot let Isis get the feeling that they are winning we need to confront them on their actions. Canadas role in this situation should be to try and convince other countries to not just wait around until it starts affecting them rather take action now!
    I agree with Robert Fowler that there needs to be a confrontation and that of course it will take time but it needs to be done. I also agree with Robert Fowler that although this isn’t most likely going to happen the confrontation with a big group of people to damage this group and prevent them from moving forward with their plans to “take over the world.” Obviously for this it can go one way or another it can either worsen the situation or improve it but until we try matters will only get worse.
    Isis will grow stronger throughout time therefore we need to make a move quickly because if that is not done than it will only get worse and worse.

    – Rotem Keynan

    CBC – As it Happens – October 6th, 2014 :

    Fowler – Half Measures in the Fight Against the Islamic State

  3. I am undecided with Canada going to war as there are many pros and cons. Yes, Canada should go and help the civilians in Iraq to keep them safe from the terrorists of ISIS. But I also agree with Mr.Fowler, that if we go there, it will cause more casualties and create unwanted conflicts. He said, “I believe these guys should be confronted. But that that confrontation requires an enormous effort… and it will take a lot of resources, a long time, there will be casualties, ours, there will be civilian casualties”
    “The Islamic State represents a threat to our values…and they will grow stronger and they hope very much that we will have responded exactly the way we have responded”.
    So yes, I do agree with Mr.Fowler that this will make matters worse, but Canada’s role in going to war is that we need to take action and help Islamic civilians and keep them safe from the terrorists of ISIS. This is why I am for and against Canada going to war.

  4. Canada needs to go to war to fight ISIS. What Canada is contributing to fighting is not enough to seriously damage ISIS. As Mr. Fowler said, “ISIS is growing bigger and bigger daily.”. The way we need to stop them is exactly what Mr. Fowler suggested. He suggested that we need to send lots of troops on the ground to do some significant damage to them. He stated that there were going to be casualties and many of them for Canadian troops but that’s a sacrifice that needs to be made. So yes I agree with Robert Fowler. We need to take action fast but we need to be smart with our actions. We need to confront ISIS quickly so that they do not have a chance to expand at the rapid rate that they are and also to make sure that they can be stopped sooner. Canada is not the only country that can stop ISIS in my opinion though. Canada needs other countries to help them such as their allies like the United States. If Canada gets more help with confrontation from other countries ISIS can be destroyed sooner. This is why we need to go to war with ISIS.

  5. I think as bad as it is, we need to send in lots of troops on ground immediately. I very much agree with Robert Fowler from that point of view. ISIS is only going to grow bigger from this point on and we have to stop them before they grow big enough that we can’t. Although it will probably result in many casualties, as stated by Robert Fowler, if we bomb it’s only going to make things worse. It will result in people getting mad at our government for killing innocent civilians, and then possibly even joining ISIS. This would only make things worse than they already are. That is why I believe that the best way to deal with ISIS is to go in on foot immediately.

  6. In order to abolish the entire ISIS, Canada needs to go all in with military assistants or else ISIS will keep growing. Bombings have been tried on ISIS by Americans. This made ISIS grow more furiously and more fights will occur. There are some cons to joining to fight ISIS such as that it will cause more conflict between the wars, although, the pros of this plan outweigh them. A lot of innocent Canadian lives will be sacrificed. However, Abolishing and fighting ISIS and getting rid of the group completely will do less harm to people in the future than not fighting against the terrorists whose plan is to take over the world. Canada and other countries fighting against ISIS should join altogether and go all in to eliminate ISIS quickly and completely.

  7. So far from what I’ve seen, everyone seems to believe Canada should go to full scale war vs. IS. I’ve decided to play the Devil’s advocate and vouch for not going to war in Iraq. Let’s look at, for a second, Canada’s current stance on the issue. We have elected not to go to war. If going to war is the best option, then why isn’t Canada or any far more powerful nations engaging in full out assault vs IS? My response is, it is not the best option. I do agree that something major needs to be done about IS, but why should Canada be the only ones to take major action. Canada should supply troops, but when we have both the United States and Russia on board (at the same time!), why should a nation with 35 million people, a comparatively unfunded army, no nuclear warheads to act as a deterrent of violence against it, and many, many allies do this alone. Another argument is that similar what happened in Afghanistan, what was originally supposed to last for months, lasted for years. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, all kept in a foreign country, away from their families, where they might never return. It seems all fine and dandy to send troops into Iraq, until you realize that one of the soldiers is your dad. Yes, by taking small action we are allowing IS to grow, however you know what makes more enemies than bombing a country? Engaging in full out warfare vs said country. Overall, Fowler does bring up some good points, but we need to look at reality. Yes, sending full out war against IS is the “just” solution, however Canada must look out for it’s own people first and engaging in full-scale war does not do that.

  8. I have noticed that most people have advocated for the idea of Canada going into war and defeating ISIS. Yes, Canada might be a large landscape, however our military is not as advanced as some other countries that could also interfere, such as the US or Russia. If Canada goes in, and fights ISIS, it will most likely just cause more anarchy and more lives will probably just die. Of course, the essential reason as to why Canada would be going in is to protect the innocent civilians in Iraq. However, if this resolution is implemented, more Canadian lives will die and who knows, maybe ISIS could beat Canada. Another point as to why we shouldn’t send Canada into Iraq is that it will cost money and resources. Canada will have to invest a ton of money into weapons, planes, helicopters, troops and more to send Canada into Iraq.This can cost billions and billions of dollars that Canada can be using to benefit themselves instead of going into war. It is clear that Fowler wants to send militants to Iraq, I fully disagree. We would lose lives and money. More chaos and anarchy will arise. Another vital point is that ISIS is spread out through the territory of Iraq. How will Canada clearly identify the ISIS soldiers? The fundamental question to ask ourselves here is: will Canada interfere with the lives of innocent civilians because we cannot clearly identify the ISIS and the innocent.

    – Adam Yusim

  9. Robert Fowler had a first hand account with Isis so i think we need to trust him when he says that Isis is way worse then Al-Quda. I think we should actually send in some troops on the ground because sending planes and bombers in will help but i think troops will even be better. Also this will look good on Canada’s part as even though they live on the other side of the country they are still helping this dyer country in need.

  10. In order to rid of this terrorist organization it is necessary to send in ground troops but I believe we should get troops from America and Allies and then support with troops. Bombing and a few planes won’t slow down ISIS

    • Canada is known as a peace keeping country but in order to maintain peace there has to be conflict. If Canada doesn’t help the Allies it would look very bad and right now Canada only did a symbolic gesture. Once USA and others are committed on sending Canada should throw in some troops to hit the ground and rid of ISIS

  11. I understand Fowler’s arguments, but I don’t agree with them. Canada’s role in the war on IS would be best as a defensive role: helping refugees and defending from the IS advance. When a group of people is attacking you you can defend yourself without anyone being angered; the anger to the west comes when we proactively search out and kill IS members. ~Robert H.

  12. My response to what Canada should do in Iraq against ISIS

    Just very recently, I was told that Canada was a peacemaking society in hiding; that Canada had lost its former peacemaking abilities and that we weren’t doing enough to support other countries. After learning this I asked myself, what can Canada to in the crisis of war or terrorism? The answer is simple, fight like the rest of the world. But then I thought, do we have a big enough military to do this? The answer came a little later but yes, because of our entire military. Our entire military, which includes the army, the air force, and the navy, contains about one hundred thousand soldiers. To really make a difference, I understood that we had to send our entire military because what we are doing right now is only using the air force against terrorism/ISIS and the air force is only a fraction of that number in soldiers. So, we must send all of our troops to really make a difference in stopping ISIS.

    As stated earlier, we have just been doing air raids on ISIS, and more of these have been planned. More than killing ISIS soldiers, what these air raids actually do is destroy the land, and homes around the area. The impact of this is significant because then, the householders start to rebel against the countries trying to stop ISIS for what they did. Honestly, I think that they have some legitimacy in their cause because we are supposed to be saving lives, but instead, we are losing more. To prevent these rebellions what we have to do is take an action that requires less collateral damage; using soldiers. If you think about it, all these soldiers can fight against ISIS and ISIS would be less of a threat to the rest of Iraq. We would be kind of like the bodyguards of the mission. In the end, there is less collateral damage, and more safety to the people and their homes. This background information will not be granted anymore, we have to start finding a more productive way to send attacks.

    Bombing is not the only way to have an impact on a cause. Something more important than bombing is quality. As stated earlier, bombing causes collateral damage to a large area, this is more focused on quantity. To have the best result in stopping ISIS, we have to increase the quality of our attacks. We need to send troops by foot, so that they are only fighting against ISIS, not Iraq. Many of the best invasions were made by foot: The invasion to kill Muammar Al Gaddafi, the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden, the invasion to capture Saddam Hussein, and the list can go on. You may be thinking, these are raids that are trying to kill just one person. Gaddafi and Hussein were both cruel dictators having large armies and guards protecting them; which results in a harder, longer battle for soldiers. The point that I am trying to demonstrate to you is that for the worst of the worst we have been using full out ambushes, and it has had the best of results. So why should we spent our military money on highly expensive bomber jets that just cause chaos, when we can spend less money on an ambush with higher likeliness of success.

    Air bombing is essentially only using our military to cause bloody havoc and fear within Iraq. We do not want this because causes too much chaos, is less effective, and costs too much for the effectiveness. Furthermore, we are only using a fraction of our army on such a large issue/army, so our efficiency is even less. Under these circumstances, we must change our method of stopping ISIS by using the full 100% of our military at full blast. For with the help of our allies, we can stop ISIS even more successfully, and we can cause peace once more.

  13. The Dalai Lama once said that if you are in a position to prevent greater violence, then strike fast and strike hard. I believe the war on ISIS could end if we send our ground troops and nailed them with our full military blast, but I also believe it is not entirely the solution. When have we ever resolved anything in an invasion besides world war 2. Afghanistan is kind of a hopeless war and so was Iraq. If we bomb areas with ISIS, we may just cause others to join ISIS out of loss and hatred.

    I think with much debate that an invasion would be the best way to ensure that ISIS is fully eradicated and wont come back. This would get the job done and could have minimal losses from civilians. If we bomb areas blindly then we don’t fully know who we are about to kill and could therefore end even more innocent lives and collateral damage. Sending troops in would be harder and not as convenient but I will cure the disease instead of eradicating the symptoms. With this comment I believe that Canada should go to war!!!

  14. The question Canada should be asking themselves while making the decision of whether or not to send troops to Iraq is “will this be the best decision for Canada and will it be effective?”. I think that it will not. Though I do believe Canada should help others as we would wish other countries would help us if we were under attack, I do not believe Canada is going in strong enough to destroy IS. Canada has said to send in their air force, but is that really enough to destroy a trained terrorist organization. I don’t think it is. Also bombing IS will only create more problems. Firstly, it will only harm innocent civilians and destroy their land, which will not be effective at all because we will be killing more of the population of civilians than IS. Secondly, bombing IS will only get them more furious with Canada and could result in IS sending their people here to start killing us which is putting our lives in danger. If Canada does want to take action they have to think strategically that will benefit Iraq and Canada as well and keep us both safe.

    I believe if we really want to get rid of IS for good we need more help. Canada can’t just send in their air force and expect it to make a big difference. I think we need to have all kinds of troops sent in such as navy and on foot and I think we shouldn’t just send forces from Canada but from other countries who are willing to help as well, so we have a much stronger and effective way of destroying IS.

  15. I really don’t think we should start a whole world issue with ISIS I think that canada needs to engage once ISIS does something bad in canada or usa. I know that might sound like a bed idea because they could kill people in canada or usa. But they say thier mission is to take overr the world. They say they don’t care how long it takes them so there is no point of fighting them because it will just be an endless war.

  16. I believe that Canada should go to war. And we need to actually be actively involved, instead of standing on the sidelines and sending in a few planes to bomb people. I believe that Canada is a role model for other countries to become involved, and that since we are one of the most developed countries in the world we should be leading by example.
    I completely agree with Fowler when he said bombing innocent people will only aggravate people into joining ISIS out of sadness and anger at Canada. Just going in with bombing planes won’t help the situation in any way. If we want to end this war against ISIS we must put in our all and lead as a strong example for other countries to follow.

  17. I think Canada should go to war. Even though our military is not as good and advanced as other countries. Is also kind of risky but I think we should go to war! We can’t just stand aside and not do anything. WE are one of the most developed country in the world. We need to be a good leader and a role model.
    Bomb is going to make things worse. It will kill innocent people. It will make them get mad at our government for killing innocent people. The worse thing it might happen is that they will be mad at us and join ISIS to fight against us.
    ISIS is going to get bigger and bigger so we have to stop them as soon as we can.

  18. I believe Canada should go to war. When it comes to terrorists if we kill them in small populations they will just get more angry. They say violence isn’t the answer? Well, sometimes there’s no options left that violence is the only answer. I have an analogy, let’s say the terrorist group is a weed and we are the people trying to cut the weed so it doesn’t spread. We just cut the top, it grows again, that’s like the terrorist groups , we have to destroy them by their roots. We have to destroy them and just get it over with. We can’t wait for the terrorists to stop. We have to stop them, or they will get worse or remain the same problem. If we want the terrorism, be-headings, kidnapping to end we need to go to war and show a good example so the rest of UN can follow. That is why I want Canada to go to war.

  19. I believe that Canada shouldn’t go to war. I understand that the whole point of being a ‘Global Citizen’ is to understand that everyone has the right to live in a safe environment and understanding the “butterfly effect”. After talking to Mr. Fowler, I believe that engaging in a full scale war in Iraq isn’t the best ideas after all. Mr. Fowler talked about how the only reason Canada is saying ‘yes’ to sending troops to Iraq is to please Washington. My first thoughts were “What the heck?”, but after meditating on this new proposition, I actually couldn’t agree more. Canada is pretty much a 100 and something year old spoon fed baby, we are completely relying on the British or the Americans to make decisions for us. This is not wise… We are suppose to be independent. I think that instead we should concentrate more on the well being on the citizens of this country before trying to solve someone else’s problems. According to what Mr. Fowler said, IS would only get more upset with us if we are intruding in their land, we should really stop this “Everyone’s problem is our problem’ thing that we are learning from the Americans. We could use some of this money to tackle problems in our own country such as ensuring the safety of aboriginal women. We should also improve the machinery that our army is using. I also agree with Mr. Fowler that we can’t solve this problem and destroy the IS. That is why I believe that Canada shouldn’t go to war.

  20. Canada either has to be all-in or completely out of the fight against IS. Half-measures and air-strikes aren’t going to cut it, in fact they’ll make matters worse. Air-strikes almost always result in civilian deaths, but they also just show that Canada can’t be bothered to actually put any of our soldiers in danger, we don’t want to risk losing any of our men and women. Deaths are inevitable, as terrible as that is, and boots-on-the-ground is the only way we even have a chance of neutralizing IS.

    On the other hand, maybe we just shouldn’t get involved. Yes, people are dying and have died, and IS does not fit in with our values and beliefs at all, but is it really a problem that we can solve? Time and time again westerners have fought against terrorists in Afghanistan and many other places around the world, but where has it got us? No matter how many people we kill, the ideology will still be there. Unless we can change how a huge group of people, a whole race, thinks and what they believe in, we can’t really do anything that will last.

    If Canadians really believe that something has to be done about IS, then Canadians should do something about it. Not just any old something, but something big, something that will actually make a difference. We want to stop IS via weapons? Fine, but that means we have to be fully invested. We can’t just drop a few bombs and run away back to Canada, hoping we changed the world for the better. It doesn’t work that way. We need to send troops, be prepared to pay the price and handle loses, because they will happen, and we need support. Canadians can’t be doing this alone, other countries also have to get involved. Civilians have to be protected, and IS has to be squashed. Air-strikes will ensure neither of those two things.

  21. Like a lot of the others, I agree with Robert Fowler that Canada does need to send out ground troops against Islamic State. Only bombing IS, will make innocents furious, and force them against us, the Canadians. Many of the others stated that we should butt out, or only put some force onto the situation. I disagree with that because we do need to shut down the Islamic State NOW. We need to go all in, and react right now before IS grows larger and it becomes that much harder to defeat them. Honestly, how many more people have to die before Canada figures out that when IS says they plan on taking over the world, the word includes us too. That means that they will eventually come to us and cause problems in our country. Isn’t it best for our citizens that we stop them before our own country becomes a larger target, and innocent civilians are murdered?
    Do we honestly want this crisis to become another World War ll? Also, IS is not only targeting and killing a few specific cultures and people, but they will murder anyone and everyone. Another, BIGGER, war might just happen if Canada does not put all of their effort into stopping these monsters.

  22. I completely agree with Mr. Fowler. After talking with him, it opened up a new world view. That was that other people are being abused by these terrorists. If it is true that ISIS has better resources, more money, etc. than Al Queada. I strongly believe that we should declare some form of war to make them serve justice. My solution is to go on a full-out war with ISIS. I aboslutely go against/hate war, but this is the only possible solution. When we go to war, we must cause casualties. on our side and theirs. As unfortuante as it sounds… We are dealing with a hole (isis) that keeps going deeper and deeper (making more mess and horror).

    Canada is a country that is strong. On top of that, the UN is stronger when they are united. Therefore, once we unite and attempt 100% recovery. We will win.

    Ps. I thought my other post was horrible, so i posted a new one.

  23. ISIS is a major issue that is taking place behind our eyes, in our world, in our time period. As much as everyone wants to believe so, this isn’t something that is going to solve itself. ISIS is not going to be able to be destroyed, at least that is the majority and my opinion. Containing a small ELITE, extremely SKILLED army that has high level survival training and the belief of “god” on their side is going to be a suicide mission. I don’t want to say that the world’s military forces are bad but this group of people are no joke. They have extremely high morals believing that this is the right thing to do. They also have modern technology that we, HUMANS, created and keep on creating, each time better than the last. And ISIS will always be able to get its hand on the latest stuff so our ammunition will eventually be useful against theirs. I don’t want to believe that ISIS or any other terrorist organization will take over the world but we never know.

    Now I will be saying what I believe Canada should do.

    As harsh as it is to the people dying right now, I don’t believe Canada should dig itself deep into this situation. I know we aren’t a big donating country but war is serious thing and being just a teenager I have mixed opinions on this matter. Sending ground troops would be suicide and using air ammunition, such as bombs, could do more harm than good. BUT if we are extremely serious about eliminating ISIS than that is the route we will have to take. The only problem is that they are spreading around the world and even if we defeat a cluster of them there is ultimately always going to be evil that has the same purpose as ISIS. I believe that sending weaponry is the best option. This way countries will know we are contributing to the cause, no Canadians have to die, and it isn’t a big blow to the army because Canada never really gets attacked. I know that this is the safe path to take but ISIS is something too dangerous to take a risk. Plus, if Canada is such a USA follower then people should notice that President Obama is deploys troops out of ISIS territory and that EVEN America is hesitant about this matter.

  24. Canada’s role be in the fight in the war against ISIS should be to contribute by introducing ground support. Why I believe this is because if we strike using CF-18s many Innocent civilians will perish as a result. The action of using CF-18s could end with poor civilians joining ISIS, which would further benefit them. If ground troops were introduced by Canada there would be more precision in the attacks against ISIS which would emphatically help Canada’s cause. In addition I strongly agree in what Mr.Fowler presented I believe our proposal is not large enough to hurt ISIS greatly. I also believe that the only way to stop ISIS is to form a large all out war with ISIS.

  25. Personally, I believe Canada’s efforts to fight ISIS are more than enough. Not only have we sacrificed parts of our own national defence, but by doing so we have joined a war. By bringing in ground troops this war become far more personal, and will only aggravate ISIS more. Although I understand there is enormous amounts of suffering occurring in regions occupied by ISIS, Canada is contributing as much as they find effective and safe. From this point on I believe Canada could possibly create a relief effort and provide medical care for those being injured in the fight against ISIS.

  26. I have two opinions on what Canada should do. The first one is that Canada should go to war. I do not think that war is the best solution but Isis has gotten into a huge group and i believe that it should be stopped. Canadas army has never been that great of an army but i think by sending a few planes. MY second opinion is that maybe Canada maybe should not get involve. By getting involved it could start something that Canada may not like. Isis is a terrible group and have gotten a lot stronger and are becoming more dangerous everyday and we meaning North America should get involved slowly.
    Robert Fowler said that he wants to stop Isis but he does not think that Canada or North America can. I don’t exactly get this statement because I think that anyone could be stopped if we actually tried. It would take a lot of work to defeat them but it would scare them. I get how once there is an idea about a certain thing it will stick with many people and the idea will never truly be gone. People want ideas to be passed down from generation to generation.

  27. Canada’s role in the fight against ISIS is to sent CF-18 and a fuel plane.I think we should send out ground troops. If we just bomb them, we could kill innocent children and there parents would be mad and they would join ISIS. By this ISIS is just getting stronger. Also if we bomb then too many innocent people are dying. We won’t kill everybody because the ISIS might have some kind of hide out that the Americans don’t know about. If we send ground troops then less innocent people will die and more ISIS will. Ground troops will also be able to go places where the planes can,t. Also If the bombs don’t work it’s just a waste of money. Firstly the bombs cost a lot ans the jets that carry the bombs cost a lot for fuel. If we are going to go to war we need to take our time and use our ground troops.

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