Tag Archives: Iraq

Christians just Hanging On in Iraq

The sad reality in this Reuters story (caption for photo at top of the post: “A view of Rabban Hormizd Monastery is seen in Alqosh, Iraq February 18, 2021. Picture taken February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani”):

An ancient monastery in Iraq is a symbol of Christian survival

ALQOSH, Iraq (Reuters) – Nestled in a steep rocky hillside among the remote mountains of northern Iraq, the Rabban Hormizd Monastery has watched invaders come and go through Christianity’s tumultuous history in this corner of ancient Mesopotamia.

Mongols, Persians, Arabs, Kurds and Ottomans have sacked, surrounded or occupied the seventh century monastery and the Christian town of Alqosh, above which it perches, near the borders with Turkey, Syria and Iran.

But Christians there survived the latest onslaught, this time by Islamic State militants who took over one third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the city of Mosul just 20 miles (32 km) to the south.

Mercifully for them, a string of villages just above Mosul was as far north as the group got, sparing Alqosh the brutality inflicted on minority faiths and sects. Some families fled those villages to the safety of the town.

“This will remain a Christian town, I believe. We have to stay in this land,” said Brother Saad Yohanna, an Iraqi monk working at a local orphanage.

“Far fewer people live here these days – maybe 1,000 families from 3,000 a few years ago, but it remains home for them.”

Of the 1.5 million Christians in Iraq before the U.S. invasion in 2003, only around a fifth remain, the others driven out by sectarian violence first by al Qaeda and then Islamic State [emphasis added].

The displaced who remain will get rare recognition this week, as Pope Francis visits the country from March 5-8. The closest he will get to Alqosh is a cluster of demolished churches in Mosul, once Islamic State’s de facto capital…

Control of Alqosh itself, after centuries of change, remains unresolved. It lies along disputed territory between the Baghdad central government and the self-run Kurdistan region.

It is in Baghdad’s Nineveh province, but controlled by Kurdish forces who helped drive Islamic State away [emphasis added]

The country’s oldest monastery of St Elijah, near Mosul, was damaged during the 2003 conflict before Islamic State destroyed it just over a decade later.

Rabban Hormizd Monastery, named after its founder, was built when Muslim armies were conquering the Middle East, and fortified over time. Dotted around its high brick walls are caves where monks once cloistered and prayed.

It became an important centre of the Eastern Catholic clergy from the 16th to 19th century, although monks gradually moved out to more accessible digs, including a second monastery in the town.

It is open now to visitors, worshippers and local monks, but not inhabited [emphasis added]

Earlier posts:

1) The Exodus of Christians in the Middle East, Cont’d [2014]

Further to this post,

The Exodus of Christians in the Middle East and Their Murder Elsewhere

I would wager–given the state of Canadian education–that the great majority of people here are unaware that Anatolia (Turkey today), the Levant, and North Africa were, as a result of the Roman Empire, heavily Christian when the Arab Muslim invasions of the seventh century A.D. defeated the Byzantines…

2) “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?” Part 2 [2015]

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

Air Power vs ISIS–RAND Research Report on Operation Inherent Resolve

(Caption for photo at top of the post: “At the height of the battle for Raqqa [2017], the coalition conducted some 150 air strikes a day”.)

The introduction for the massive study:

The Air War Against The Islamic State

The Role of Airpower in Operation Inherent Resolve

Airpower played a pivotal role in the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from 2014 to 2019 and contributed to the success of Operation Inherent Resolve. This report sheds light on the impact of the air operations in Operation Inherent Resolve and whether airpower could have been applied differently to achieve faster, more-sustainable outcomes. The authors incorporate interviews with U.S. and coalition personnel, primary-source documents, and U.S. and coalition strike and sortie data to document the operational history of the air war, assess the relationship between airpower effects, and analyze the strategic and operational impact of airpower in Operation Inherent Resolve [there are scattered references to the RCAF’s participation].

The authors find that, although airpower played an essential role in combating ISIS, airpower alone would not have been likely to defeat the militant organization. Instead, the combination of airpower and ground forces—led by Iraqi and Syrian partners—was needed to destroy the Islamic State as a territorial entity. The overarching strategy of Operation Inherent Resolve, which put ground-force partners in the lead, created several challenges and innovations in the application of airpower, which have implications for future air wars. To be prepared to meet future demands against nonstate and near-peer adversaries, the U.S. Air Force and the joint force should apply lessons learned from Operation Inherent Resolve.

Key Findings

*Airpower played a critical role in Operation Inherent Resolve, based on the “by, with, and through” strategy, which placed local partners as leaders of the fight to destroy the caliphate. In turn, partners’ capabilities and interests shaped how airpower was used.

*Although more-aggressive air operations might have slightly accelerated the defeat of ISIS, they are unlikely to have significantly altered the timeline.

*The deep fight in Operation Inherent Resolve affected ISIS’s finances, but it could not affect ISIS’s main center of gravity—territory—meaning that strategic attack did not play a decisive role in this operation.

*Critical enablers, such as remotely piloted aircraft and aerial refueling aircraft, were in high demand and provided vital capabilities but were at times overstretched.

*Essential wartime skills, such as deliberate-targeting and defensive counterair operations, were used for the first time in years in a real operation, requiring reinvigoration of these proficiencies.

*Battlespace management within the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition was a point of disagreement, particularly between the Combined Joint Task Force Commander and the Combined Air Forces Component Commander, and affected the development of the deep fight.

*Necessary efforts to prevent civilian casualties and reduce collateral damage depleted precision-guided munition stockpiles.


*The joint force should revise its targeting doctrine based on the experience in Operation Inherent Resolve, including potentially incorporating the strike cell construct into doctrine or determining whether to use the Joint Air Ground Integration Center to integrate airpower with ground partners in the absence of forward joint terminal attack controllers.

*The joint force should reinvigorate, reexamine, and revise the target-development process to make it more efficient.

*The joint force should modify the allocation process for high-demand assets in joint campaigns to reduce inefficiencies and increase agility.

*The joint force should reexamine battlespace management and revise doctrine or tactics, techniques, and procedures so that it can more dynamically manage both the close and the deep fights.

*The Air Force will need to limit civilian casualties and collateral damage, requiring it to allocate precision-guided munitions efficiently across theaters and identify how to safely use second- and third-choice munitions.

*The Air Force should continue to develop more targeteers and intelligence professionals to support a reinvigoration of the target-development process.

*Self-defense rules of engagement in air-to-air operations should be stressed to airmen in training and real-world flying events. Leaders should emphasize to airmen that they are empowered and expected to defend the airspace, while avoiding inadvertent escalation.

Relevant recent post:

Debunking Myths about USAF Air Power and Gulf War I

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3dsTwitter: @mark3ds

Debunking Myths about USAF Air Power and Gulf War I

Excerpts from an article at War on the Rocks (lots of thoughtful pieces there); sad that one has seen almost no public writing by serving Canadian Armed Forces personnel for quite some time:

Toward a More Nuanced View of Airpower and Operation Desert Storm

Approaching the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, airpower enthusiasts will undoubtedly crow about airpower’s key role in the coalition’s swift victory, and not without reason. The dominance of coalition airpower, and the U.S. Air Force specifically, enabled one of the most lopsided victories in the history of warfare. During the six-week air campaign, the U.S. Air Force accounted for nearly 60 percent of the coalition’s 112,000 combat missions, all but three of the 35 aerial victories, and over 90 percent of the 7,400 tons of laser-guided weapons dropped by coalition aircraft. Once the ground war began, it lasted a mere 100 hours, and despite the coalition’s two-to-three disadvantage in men and equipment, the coalition suffered just under 300 casualties. During the brief ground war, the invasion penetrated 150 miles into Iraq, traveling nearly twice the speed of the famed Nazi blitzkrieg of World War II. By all measures the campaign was an undisputable success.

Col. John Warden’s influence on the air campaign against Iraqi infrastructure and leadership targets is held up as the principal component to the war. In the year leading up to Desert Storm, Warden led the Directorate of Warfighting Concepts. Known as Checkmate, the organization was charged with studying and solving complex strategic problems. Recognizing the dangerous situation developing in Iraq, Warden anticipated the need for offensive airpower options and directed his staff to construct an offensive air campaign modeled on Warden’s War College paper-turned-book, The Air Campaign: Planning for Combat. The plan, named Instant Thunder, imagined an air campaign focused on Iraqi leadership, communications, infrastructure, and air defenses. Warden’s conceptualization definitely broke from the Air Force plans for defending Saudi Arabia but the influence of Instant Thunder is often overstated.

While important, it was not Warden’s Instant Thunder plan, nor the doctrinal ideologies of strategic attack and air superiority, that made the swift coalition victory possible in 1991. Instead, airpower’s most decisive impact came through the sustained fury of the Gulf War air campaign against the Iraqi army. Further, two decades of interservice cooperation leading up to Desert Storm played a key role in the lopsided coalition victory [emphasis added].

…Warden and Checkmate briefed the Instant Thunder plan to Schwarzkopf on Aug. 10 and presented a slightly revamped version to the Central Command air component commander, Gen. Chuck Horner, 10 days later. But Horner was not pleased. In Horner’s mind, Instant Thunder completely disregarded the single most dangerous aspect of the impending war, the Iraqi army. Further, Horner felt Instant Thunder “used new technologies to refurbish ideas about strategic bombing that could be traced at least to the Army Air Forces in World War II.” In short, the plan was incomplete at best and at worst recycled historically shaky airpower doctrine [emphasis added, see post linked to at the end of this one]. Warden’s plan disregarded the Iraqi army and focused exclusively on targeting Iraqi political and military leadership, their command-and-control infrastructure, along with the Iraqi air force and KARI air defense network. In Warden’s mind the strategic air campaign was the only part of the air campaign that mattered and there was no reason to use the air component for any other mission, no matter what. Warden believed that the strategic air campaign would win the war…

Instead of adopting Warden’s plan and ideology as written, Horner unceremoniously sent Warden back to the Pentagon and instead tapped Brig. Gen. Buster Glosson, Lt. Col. David Deptula, and members of the Checkmate staff to revamp the air plan. The new team formed a planning entity enigmatically dubbed the “Black Hole.” Horner wanted the Black Hole to focus on the ground commanders’ priorities and develop an offensive air campaign far beyond Instant Thunder…

…the third and fourth objectives, interdicting the Iraqi army and providing close air support to coalition armies, is where airpower truly made its mark. In particular, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell, did not want the invading Iraqi army to escape — he wanted it destroyed in the field. The destruction of 50 percent of Iraq’s combat power was a pre-ground invasion goal, and air planners took that goal seriously. The air armada struck Iraqi army targets on the first day of the war, and the onslaught expanded every day. By war’s end, the coalition sent nearly 40 percent of all sorties against more than 27,000 Iraqi army targets, decimating Iraqi resistance, and enabling coalition armies to end the ground war in just 100 hours [emphasis added]. The Black Hole placed so much emphasis on air-to-ground support that it categorized the Iraqi Republican Guard as a strategic-level target rather than a tactical one, and these elite units endured relentless air attack during the entire air campaign. As D-Day for the ground invasion approached, coalition airpower poured fire into Iraqi ground forces, with over 90 percent of all strike sorties — and more than 80 percent of all sorties — directed against the Iraqi army in Kuwait and southern Iraq…

…Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak bragged shortly after Desert Storm, “This is the first time in history that a field army has been defeated by airpower.” Even Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney acknowledged airpower’s critical role in the coalition’s victory.

McPeak, however, went on to acknowledge the limits of airpower, even in the lopsided victory of Desert Storm. What McPeak recognized was that the success of Desert Storm did not come from the ideology of strategic bombing but the previous decade of Army-Air Force cooperation [emphasis added]

In the aftermath of Desert Storm, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the deep reductions in military spending in the United States, doctrinal and budgetary animosity between the Air Force and the Army returned as airpower advocates pushed for a return to more air-centric doctrine, embodied by Warden and articulated in The Air Campaign

After Desert Storm, the Gulf War narrative offered a simplified view of the role of airpower. It often presented the war as an airpower victory and touted the Air Force as the force of the future. But this overlooks the importance of the use of airpower against the Iraqi army and the significance of interservice cooperation in the U.S. military. Undoubtedly, the Air Force’s contribution in Desert Storm was pivotal, but it was born in the previous decade, and was a direct product of cooperation in acquisitions, doctrine, and training. It was not a victory of strategic airpower or air superiority alone. The lesson of Desert Storm is how devastating the U.S. military can be when interservice cooperation trumps any one service’s ideology…

Lt. Col. Matt Dietz is a former F-15E pilot and currently a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds a Ph.D. in history and specializes in military history, policy, and strategy.

Indeed. See this earlier post about trying to win a major war by air power alone:

It Wasn’t just the UK’s “Bomber” Harris who Claimed Strategic Bombing could Win World War II

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3dsTwitter: @mark3ds

Mark Collins – Syria/Iraq Update: ISIS, Raqqa, Kurds…and Turkey, Plus Mosul

Further to this post,

Sublime Erdogan the Magnficent Pushing his Syria/Iraq Turkish Delight

the latest on the explosive ex-Ottoman mixture at the invaluable MILNEWS.ca:

“US Expects Anti-Daesh Operations in Raqqa, Mosul to Drag On”“Battlefield developments threaten to trigger Turkish intervention in Iraq and Syria against Kurdish and Iraqi Shia militias”…

Raqqa Latest “Raqqa: US, Turkey agree to develop plan for ISIS-held city”“U.S. Tries Convincing Turkey to Work with Kurds Against Islamic State in Raqqa”“US, Iraq Back Syrian Kurdish-led March on Raqqa, Turkey Objects”“Syria’s SDF: a risky US ally to take Raqqa”“Isolation, Liberation of Raqqa Key in Defeating ISIL, (Pentagon) Spokesman Says”“Turkey paranoid that Syrian Kurds will take Raqqa as their capital after dislodging Daesh”…

Mo’ on Mosul “The Campaign for Mosul: November 4-7, 2016” (ISW blog) “Mosul battle rages as IS strikes around Iraq”“Food Pre-Positioned for 1.25 Million People in Mosul”“Kurdish Peshmarga Storm Daesh-Held Town in Iraq as Army Battles in Mosul”“Peshmerga storm Daesh town in Iraq as army battles in Mosul”

Very interesting but dangerously messy.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Sublime Erdogan the Magnficent Pushing his Syria/Iraq Turkish Delight

The ever more maximum president is certainly making things difficult for POTUS and many others:

Erdogan reasserts Turkey’s role in wars in Syria and Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday [Oct. 27] that he had informed President Obama of Turkey’s intent to participate in an offensive in northern Syria. His remarks are a reminder of the strategic conundrum facing the United States, which is working to defeat the extremist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with both cooperation from Turkey as well as from Syrian Kurdish militias being targeted by the Turks.

In a televised speech from the Turkish capital, Ankara, Erdogan said he told Obama that Syrian rebels backed by Turkey in an ongoing operation called “Euphrates Shield” would advance on the Syrian border town of al-Bab, which is held by the Islamic State. They would then march on to Manbij, a northern Syrian city that earlier this year was liberated from the Islamic State by a coalition of Syrian militias led by a Kurdish faction known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG. The Turkish government considers the YPG an affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist faction that has waged a decades-long insurgency within Turkey and is deemed a terrorist group by both Ankara and Washington.

Then, Erdogan said, “we will go toward Raqqa” — the de facto capital of the Islamic State in Syria.


…[In Iraq] too , Turkey hopes for “a place at the table.” As WorldViews noted earlier, Erdogan has demanded a role for Turkish troops in the Mosul campaign that nobody — neither the Americans, nor the Iraqis — has planned for and has invoked grievances from World War I and sectarian rhetoric while doing so.

“We did not voluntarily accept the borders of our country,” Erdogan said, referring to the defeated Ottoman parliament’s disregarded 1920 territorial claim to Mosul and its oil-rich environs…

Oh dear. More here on President Erdogan.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Iraq: Upcoming Battle for Mosul Update

Further to this post, things could get exceedingly nasty; can Iraq stay united (and how far will the Turks go, both around Mosul and to prevent any independent Kurdistan?). At Defense One’sD-Brief“:

Iraq’s counterterrorism police of the Golden Division have reportedly departed Camp Speicher en route to positions near Mosul.
Reminder: the upcoming offensive could become a big mess, the Washington Post’s Loveday Morris warned on Wednesday [Oct. 12], reporting from Baghdad.

For a sense of just how messy it could get, here’s a broad glance at the Mosul manifest: Iraq Army; CT police; PKK; Turkey-backed tribes; Shia militia [Iran-backed]; Assyrian, Christian and Yazidi militia; and, of course, the U.S.-led coalition. That makes seven generic categories of different forces, most of which can be further broken down into more specific elements. More here.

The humanitarian toll of the offensive is going to be enormous, and could include: use of civilians as human shields, chemical weapons use, and the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, the UN warns.

How’s the UN prepared for all that so far? In a word: inadequately. “In order to house and support and accommodate 1 million people at dignified standards we would be looking at an operation of $1 billion,” said Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq [UN website here].

Reuters: “That is more than four times the $230 million the international body has received so far for the effort, funds which have only recently arrived. So far, a total of six camps have been built that can accommodate 50,000 people. Efforts are underway to construct 11 more, said Grande.”..

Lots more at MILNET.ca, scroll down to “Iraq”. And what role will the Canadian Forces’ closely assisting the Kurdish Peshmerga have in how Kurdistan matters play out? Our government should be giving that furious consideration.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Iraq: Upcoming Battle for Mosul, Plus Turkey

The latest at the invaluable MILNEWS.ca:

Closer to Mosul Push “Anti-ISIS fight will get harder after Mosul, says Canadian general”“Canadian general: ‘Fall of Mosul is inevitable’ ““Mosul’s Liberation From ISIL ‘Inevitable,’ Canadian General Says” (US DoD Info-machine)“Coalition general: ‘Final rehearsal’ before Mosul fight underway”“Plans Take Shape for Iraqi Assault on Mosul”“Islamic State conflict: How will the battle for Mosul unfold?”
“To Drive ISIS from Mosul, a Complicated Coalition Joins Forces”
“Canadian general warns Islamic State fight will get harder after Mosul”
“Daesh leaders defecting before Mosul operation: general”
“Abadi to Mosul residents: “victory is near” “ – “Iraq Prime Minister Promises Victory In Mosul”
“Iraq: Impending Mosul assault puts 600,000 children in line of fire – Iraq” (Save the Children)
“IS Plans Widespread Destruction in Mosul as Conditions Worsen for Residents”
“Shia Badr forces will consider foreign troops intervene in Mosul battle”
“Turkey’s presence at Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq is at the request of Kurdish authorities who recognize their forces in the country, Turkey’s deputy prime minister declared on Wednesday, adding that no one has right to object to their presence …”
TUR-IRQ Friction “Turkey-Iraq Tensions Rise as Battle of Mosul Approaches”“Iraq Warns of Regional War With Turkey”“Turkey not in Iraq as occupiers: Deputy PM”“Turkey says it does not aim to be an occupier in Iraq”“Iraq asks UNSC to discuss Turkish presence in N. Iraq”“Iraq seeks emergency UN Security Council session over Turkish military presence”
“Pro-govt Iraq fighters ‘likely’ killed in coalition airstrike near Mosul – US official”“At least 20 Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters die in mistaken air strike”“Pentagon probes pro-govt Iraq fighter deaths in coalition strike”…

Not exactly simple.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – The 2003 Iraq Invasion and the Decline of the UK Foreign Office

Further to this post (note second comment),

UK Internal Diplomacy Pre-Iraq Invasion 2003

a letter at the London Review of Books:

Failures at the Foreign Office

I was employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office until 2010, long after Oliver Miles left, and there is to my mind a lot of force in his assessment of its failure to speak truth to power over Iraq (Letters, 11 August). Returning in 2005 after eight years abroad, I quickly came to understand that this was not the FCO I knew and (almost) loved – an institution traditionally full of the most talented, eccentric and outspoken individuals. The new atmosphere of conformity and demoralisation was palpable, aggravated by the rapid turnover of foreign secretaries and junior ministers.

Firmly in charge were the Blair collaborators, underpinned by a new generation of liberal interventionists propelled to stardom by the Yugoslav crisis of the 1990s – some having arrived sideways from politics, the UN, charities or the media. Longer-serving diplomats formed a passive resistance, or a silent majority at any rate, and seemed to be regarded with suspicion, as if fatally infected with the scepticism and circumspection learned during the long conflicts of the Cold War. Now, career advancement was expressly linked to volunteering for (futile but preferably repeated) stints of duty in war zones like Baghdad, Basra, Kabul and Lashkar Gah, a willingness to be shot at seemingly trumping all other qualifications.

At the same time, in response to mounting pressure on resources from 2007 onwards, the FCO fell victim to a cult of managerialism that seemed to regard foreign policy as an inconvenient side-issue. Under a faddish doctrine of providing a ‘facilitating platform across government’, the FCO stopped trying to do anything well on its own, and was soon known to the general public only for its travel advice. The FCO entered the coalition years as a hollowed-out shell, symbolised by the scrapping of the diplomatic service language school and David Miliband’s dismantling of the splendid Victorian library.

Some think that Thatcher started the rot by sucking foreign policy away to Number Ten. But it was Iraq that decisively ended the FCO’s position as a great – once the greatest – department of state [but the Treasury?]. Where was it, for instance, in the EU referendum debate, the biggest foreign policy issue for generations? The appointment of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary might be seen as the final sick joke, a nadir of institutional humiliation. Ever the optimist, I cling to the thought that the same was probably said of Ernest Bevin, who turned out an unexpected success [see this lovely book review: “Capability Bevin“].

David Roberts
West Horsley, Surrey [more here]

I served as a foreign service officer (aka a dip) with the Canadian Department of External Affairs, as it was then called, from 1974 to 1988; similar rot to that described by Mr Roberts was well setting in within us by the end of that time. In 1995 the department officially became the “Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada”; it has since been re-branded “Global Affairs Canada” by the current government, enough said.

By the way, the reason Canada’s international relations ministry was originally called “external affairs” rather than “foreign affairs” was because dealings with members of the British Empire–later Commonwealth–were not considered foreign unlike those with other states. Now we keep trendily changing nomenclature to show how grown-up or hip or something we are whilst India, which had a much more severe colonial experience than us, sticks with a “Ministry of External Affairs“. Go figure. Grown-up, eh?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Aussies vs ISIS: Targeted Assassinations by Air Strikes?

That seems one reasonable inference from this change in their ROEs–at MILNEWS.ca:

“Australia to expand anti-ISIL campaign in Iraq and Syria”“The Australian Defence Force now has the full authority needed to target all members of Daesh, in accordance with international law. This ensures we can continue to meet the evolving national security threat of this decade and well beyond. The Government has reviewed its policy on targeting enemy combatants and made an important decision to ensure our forces are empowered to act against Daesh in Iraq and Syria to the maximum extent allowed by international law. This now includes targeting those who may not openly take up arms but are still key to Daesh’s fighting capability …” (AUS PM statement) – “Australia outlines tough new measures against Islamic State”“Australia Foreshadows Expanding Role in Fight Against Daesh in Syria and Iraq”…

Rather more robust than anything that would fly in Canada, one thinks. Relevant:

Who’s Doing What in Anti-ISIS Coalition?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

Mark Collins – Who’s Doing What in Anti-ISIS Coalition?

Compare our effort with others’, listing starts at p. 10 PDF at link below–at Foreign Policy’sSituation Report“:

Crib sheet. Here’s a very handy little report from the Congressional Research Service listing what countries are taking part in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS in Iraq, what their contributions are, and where their troops [and air personnel] are based…

without CF-18s engaged in bombing (the current government clearly does like the routine application of deadly force), our contribution does not appear inappropriate to me. Especially given the CAF’s operation in Ukraine and the ones upcoming in with NATO in  Latvia and with the UN in  Africa (somewhere).

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds