In November, the House of Commons voted to send Canadian special forces troops to Iraq to contribute to an international mission to repel the terrorist army known Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. It was to be a short-term mission to “advise and assist” Iraqi forces. In recent weeks, we’ve learned that Canadian soldiers have been laser-targeting air strikes and engaging in firefights with Islamic State fighters on the front lines. Has Canada drifted into an outright combat operation in Iraq? Or is this merely an inevitable shooting component to something that remains, at its core, the advisory mission authorized by Parliament? We have invited two military-operations experts to debate this question: Read their opinions, and vote in the box on the right.
Roland Paris: Founding director of the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa.
Canada’s Iraq operation has turned into a combat mission
Thomas Juneau: Assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
There is no mission creep in Iraq