Gen Jonathan Vance is the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Canada’s top military officer. He says the fight against ISIS (Daesh) is not over and there is no end in sight

Gen Jonathan Vance is the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Canada’s top military officer. He says the fight against ISIS (Daesh) is not over and there is no end in sight.
Photo Credit: CBC-TV

No end in sight to battle against ISIS

Whether you call is ISIS, ISIL, or DAESH, Canada’s top military officer says the battle isn’t over, and the end is not in sight.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff, spoke this week in an interview on the CBC political programme, Power and Politics.

This is a view expressed previously by analysts and political figures in the US and Britain.

The recent Liberal government in Ottawa reversed previous military policy and ended the Canadian bombing campaign opting instead to send in military personnel to train, advise, and assist forces fighting the terrorist group.

There will be casualties

He also said, “Canadians need to be prepared for the fact that there will be confrontation, there will be fighting, I am certain of it, there has been already. This represents an expansion of our mission on the ground, so it stands to reason that there will be fighting, and potential casualties as we face this mission.”

This image, released by the French-language daily newspaper La Dernière Heure, shows the three men who are suspected of participating in the attack on the Brussels airport in March
This image, released by the French newspaper La Dernière Heure, shows the three men who are suspected of participating in the attack on the Brussels airport in March. France declared that it was now “at war” with the terrorist group ISIS as a result of the attack and the one last year in Paris © La Dernière Heure vis CBC

Also this week the Liberal Foreign Affairs minister Stephane Dion echoed a comment made earlier by Prime Minister Trudeau, telling reporters that Canada was not “at war” with ISIS (Daesh/ISIL). Dion said the term used in connection with extremists is probably outdated

Following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last year and the Brussels airport bombing last month France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has stated that France was now at war with the terrorist group. He added  the war will be long.

The Canadians government however says the conflict does not fit the definition of war. Quoted by the Canadian Press, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “A war is something that can be won by one side or the other and there is no path for ISIL to actually win against the West”.

From right to left: Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion delivers a statement as he is joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.. This week Dion re-iterated that the government would not use the term *at war* to describe actions agains Daesh (ISIS-ISIL)
From right to left: Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion delivers a statement as he is joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.. This week Dion re-iterated that the government would not use the term *at war* to describe actions agains Daesh (ISIS-ISIL) © Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press via CBC

On Wednesday Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said,” “If you use the terminology ‘war,’ in international law it will mean two armies with respecting rules and it’s not the case at all. You have terrorist groups that respect nothing. So we prefer to say that it’s a fight.”

Meanwhile, the latest opinion survey by Ekos polling agency shows the Liberal government has lost popular support in the past few months.

The survey shows that the number of Canadians who felt the government was headed in the wrong direction had increased from 32 percent to 44 percent.  However, that still leaves a majority of about 56% who think the government is headed in the right direction.

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