Canada, our Canada, is once again demonstrating to our allies and to the world in general that we are a nation that keeps its commitments and honours its obligations.
We have joined with other nations under the flag of NATO to come to the side of the people of Libya who are being murdered and oppressed by Moammar Gadhafi.
Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard is in command of the NATO operation to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya. That NATO operation is to enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, made the decision to call for a no-fly zone without hesitation on March 18, the day after the United Nations resolution. By his decision, we are not only protecting lives in Libya, but we are demonstrating that Canada as a nation can be counted on as a staunch and predictably reliable ally.
We all know that we are not a large nation with any sort of large military force. But, we are making a huge effort and important contribution to the cause. We have seven CF-188 fighter jets, that’s more than ten percent of our fighters and one CC-150 Polaris aerial refueling tanker in theatre.
In addition, we have two CP- 140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Charlottetown in the area. It’s a robust commitment given the size of our nation and its military resources.
Not to be discussed is the likelihood that we have members of special operations joint task force (JTF2) on the ground and working. We always see the movie news of American Navy Seals and we don’t see JTF2 members who are among the top special operations officers in the world.
As a nation, Canada has a proud history of playing its part in interventions to support international security mandates. It’s a legacy we can all be proud of and we should always remember the sacrifices of our people in uniform.
It’s interesting to note that some politicians ridiculed our government for failing to gain a seat on the UN Security Council. That was politics at it’s lowest because the President of the United States was courting European support, thus their nominee won the seat.
What is significant and commendable is that in spite of the political games, Canada has stood up to fulfill its duty. We as a nation have risen above the murky games of one-upmanship to stand tall with pride.
Canada, as a strong reliable country will obviously advance its geopolitical influence by continuing its legacy of international teamwork.
We should all stand tall with pride when the world calls on us to do our part. Never has a nation been more able to serve humankind with just resolve than we do today.
I’m going to borrow an Australian saying to end this article. Good on you Canada, a country we can count on and be proud of.
Mel is a retired Director of Operations for a large Canadian Corporation. He is a noted world traveller and has studied geopolitical issues for many years. His most noticeable interest is in the effects of different types of governance and organizational behaviour.