Canadians Send Contradictory Messages Regarding Possible Intervention in Mali

9794e1c7528d862ed1e64b5d57312746b325 Canadians Send Contradictory Messages Regarding Possible Intervention in Mali

Canadian Defense Minister Peter
MacKay has
said that Canadian officials are considering what Canadian
forces might be able to contribute to the planned intervention in
Mali, which aims to dislodge Al Qaeda militants from the north of
the country.From The Globe and Mail:
“We are contemplating what contribution Canada could make,” Mr.
MacKay told reporters at CFB Halifax Sunday, where he announced a
rent cap for some defence housing.
“Training is something that Canadian Forces are particularly
adept at doing,” Mr. MacKay said. “We have demonstrated that
repeatedly … throughout our history. But certainly the training
mission in Afghanistan is testament to that commitment and that
ability and is something that has garnered the admiration of
recipient nations but other countries as well that emulate Canadian
training techniques.”
MacKay’s statement contradicts earlier comments from Canadian

Foreign Minister John Baird, who said that the Canadian
government was not planning on sending troops to Mali. Were Canada
to commit troops it would be the latest in quite a long list of
countries preparing to get involved.French peacekeeping veteran General
Francois Lecointre was recently announced as the leader of the
E.U.’s mission in Mali. The E.U.’s mission is separate from the
mission approved by the UN Security Council, which will include
3,300 troops.Earlier this month
UPI reported that the French were putting pressure on Algeria
to back intervention and that although the U.S. was not planning on
sending troops to the region it is “likely to become the main
financier of any regional operation.”Although the planned intervention in Mali seems to be gathering
considerable support there is good reason to think that the fight
against Al Qaeda will lead to difficulties similar to those that we
have seen in Afghanistan.Our campaign in Afghanistan succeeded in displacing much of Al
Qaeda from the country. However, many Al Qaeda fighters are now in
Pakistan. If the planned intervention in Mali is successful there
is a good chance that we could see something similar, with Al Qaeda
militants moving to a bordering country like Niger.It should be of little reassurance that UN Ambassador Susan Rice
described the plans for the intervention as
“crap,” saying, quite rightly, that the planned African force
does not have the skills required for the mission in Mali. Canadian
officials ought to consider how likely it is that thousands of
unprepared occupying troops will improve the situation in Mali.

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Canadians Send Contradictory Messages Regarding Possible Intervention in Mali

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