Canadian jets join UN mission in Libya

Move may be part of a wider Canadian involvement in enforcing no-fly zone


Canadian CF-18 fighter jets have flown their first mission to enforce a UN no-fly zone over Libya Monday. Departing from a base in Trapani, Italy, the jets did not participate in a bombing mission yet, but that could happen as early as Monday night. The involvement of Canada in a united front—with the U.S., British and French forces—against Libya is expected to trigger a debate in the House of Commons on Canada’s role in the military intervention. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois have expressed support for the CF-18 deployment, but have also expressed reservations about a broader involvement. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said his party supported “air interdiction” but was not in favour of Canada committing ground troops. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in an interview with CBC Radio that Canada is “open to all options” in responding to the Libyan crisis. When asked if that includes “boots on the ground,” he said if that were required to “protect citizens that are being literally murdered by [Libyan leader Moammar] Gadhafi, that’s what the resolution calls for.”

CBC News

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Canadian jets join UN mission in Libya

  1. Now that Canada is fully involved, is this country — and other Nato nations including the United States — ready to accept an influx of displaced Libyans and others who were working in Libya, as refugees?
    If not yet flowing towards our borders, they soon may, and due to Canada's involvement in the Libyan civil war (and that's what it appears to have become), this country has a duty to accept them.
    Or will these folks be rejected because they follow the Muslim faith?
    Rudy Haugeneder
    Victoria, BC

    • Surely the best way to help people who might otherwise become refugees is to help stop the violence in Libya. In the short term, that means helping the UN enforce the no-fly zone so that there can be the creation of a stable governmetn in Libya. Once Gadaffi and his thugs are gone from the scene there won't be the need for a mass exodus of refugees – if the world had allowed Gadaffi to overrun Benghazi and Tobruk there would have been a legitimate crisis of the sort you are concerned about.

      • No, there will be even more need to take Libyan refugees when religious extremists take over and do every day what Ghadaffi has done over the past weeks.

    • absolutly and we should send them all to your neighbourhood…goof

  2. Although I support the 'no-fly' zone, I am a little disturbed by the exuberance of the US, UK and France in launching their cruise missiles and other war toys over Libya. Maybe I am unclear on the concept of a 'no-fly' zone. Can someone help me out here?

    • It would be extremely risky to have our pilots declare a "no-fly" zone and then simply wait for the first Libyan anti-aircraft missile to be fired at them before doing something about it. I think it was made very clear to the Security Council, that when a "no-fly" zone is declared the first step in the process of implementing it is to eliminate the threat of anti-aircraft fire – which means destroying the missiles and their control systems. That seems to have been done pretty effectively in this case.

      • Okay. I think you and I are on the same page, at least up to this point.

        But where does this talk about taking Ghadaffi out come from, or McKay musing about putting troops on the ground in Libya? Or, for that matter, attacking ground troops not in the process of firing missiles at the citizenry?

        • The issue will be, what needs to be done to stabilize the situation and ensure the safety of civilians? It seems unlikely any large numbers of ground troops will be needed, but it is also likely we, and our allies, already have troops on the ground doing targetting, as we did in Kosovo. The rules of engagement will develop as the mission continues, and I presume, that as in the Kosovo campaign, any air strike by Canadian Forces will be approved in advance by JAG officers. As well, as happened today, any air strike that involves unacceptable collateral damage will not proceed. I have no problem with air strikes against troop concentrations unless those troops are moving back to their barracks and away from positions from which they could launch attacks.

    • France? lol. ou will wait a long time before france takes any initiative. It will do its regular bluff, B/S one of da byes, but do nothing to put it in bad lite with its BEST FRIENDS! And then send a huge bill to the UN. (United States). Along with creating the image that it is the top dog. What a typical french!

      • Not following the news are you?

  3. Canada like the rest of the UN has no right to be there. This is a ploy to steal oil once again.Why did the UN not get involved in the other 10-15 conflicts when leaders fought rebels? answer cause they did not have oil to steal.U.S and France have huge debts to pay and need cash.

    • And how do you suggest they are going to "steal" the oil? Wasn't Libya selling it to anyone who wanted to pay for it in the first place? Do you think that will change after a new government takes over?

    • I am very pleased to see that at least one person (you – Richy Rich) understands the REAL reason US et al are in Libya – OIL. Libya is the largest oil producer in North Africa and the biggest oil supplier to Europe. Does anyone really think that US et al are present in Libya because they are concerned about the Libyan people? Ha Ha! Not a chance. It's all about oil.

  4. well Diogenes it goes like this the rebels were being beat up by Gadhafi's air force the UN want's the oil so they put up a no fly zone because the rebels have no planes so this is to help the rebels win and toss out Gadhafi. Once out of power or dead <it's a much faster process to hit him with a cruise missile>the UN will "suggest" a leader<one that will deal/give at a huge discount> and the oil and fat assets are theirs. Then later when the UN's puppet does not want to play ball anymore we get another Iraq.
    Notice the UN is not trying to solve this peacefully at all<like Russia's Putin has noted> by getting in there and stopping both the rebels and Gadhafi they have picked a side-Money

    • Hope you didn't strain your thinker on that one! lol Now pull up yer zipper.

  5. It appears that the situation in Libya could become quite tricky for those involved in support/upholding UN resolution 1973. Supporting the rebels through a UN mandated No-Fly Zone appears to be the end game thus far. However, it may be prudent to ask who are the rebels? As well, what happens in the rebels lose to Gaddafi? Is the international community willing to partake in a potential escalation? Is there political capital to establish two states? etc. A No-Fly Zone is merely the beginnings of an attempted regime change which may not work out too well.

    Finally, wtf is Canada's interest in Libya? Why not Syria, where the Syrian people may significantly damage Assad? Why not Yemen where Yemenese tanks have turned against the government? What about Bahrain? While the West may dominant militarily, it also has a nice level of inconsistency in international relations.

    • It is confusing to me that these "freedom fighters" we are supporting in Libya are apparntly the same "terrorists" that the USA were fighting in Iraq. I guess peons like me were never meant to understand the workings of the world at the International level!

    • <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-138159652"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(138159652)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.macleans.ca%2F2011%2F03%2F21%2Fcanadian-jets-join-un-mission-in-libya%2F#IDComment138159652&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Canadian%20jets%20join%20UN%20mission%20in%20Libya%20-%20Need%20to%20know%20-%20Macleans.ca&quot; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(138159652)">Close MessageRe interest in Libya, see my reply to Richy Rich above. Though all the countries you have listed produce oil, Libya by far produces the most, and is the largest supplier of oil to Europe. Can you imagine what would happen to Europe if that supply was cut? It is quite clear why Europe is involved in Libya, and UK and US are close allies, and it seems that Canada is starting to follow suit (to my dismay).

      As an aside, oil production in Libya has already significantly reduced, because all the international companies that supplied Expatriate expertise to the oil industry in Libya evacuated their people. Gadaffi is upset and he wants these experts back, and he threatened to break the contracts with these companies and seek expertise from guess where, China.

  6. Interesting article from the Telegraph on the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

    "The UN coalition is waging psychological warfare in Libya, and the proof is in the picture above. It shows a B-2 Stealth bomber landing at a US airbase in Missouri, after a 25-hour mission. Three of the bombers flew an 11,500-mile round trip to drop 45 bombs – each weighing 2000lbs – on one unfortunate airbase in Libya. And beyond that, we know very little."

  7. So, in our wisdom we have determined that we should aid rebels in their attempt to over throw Moammar Gadhafi. My question is – "from the rabble have we selected a replacement or are we still doing interviews?"

    We are being presumptuous and arrogant to think that we have the right to determine who are "the good guys" that should be in power in that sovereign nation. It is simply none of our business. As much as I may have thought we needed a change of government we Canadians would not allow foreign interference to achieve that change. In that regard, the Libyans will be no different. If it is to happen change will have to come from within. Let that process run its course without interference. Surely we have learned something from our experience in Afghanistan!

    We are not a "super power". With our limited financial resources our emphasis should be on homeland security. In that regard the threat to our way of life comes in an economic form. We need to counter the economic threat to our Arctic, protect our coastal fisheries, deal with internal unrest, root out terrorist cells, and, first and foremost, keep our country financially viable.

    Please let us ensure that all of the foregoing is in hand before we go running around the planet saving the downtrodden.

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  9. Starvation, disease, and mangled children are the spoils of war for the common people. It is a shame that the thousands of women who suffered to bring us the vote with the full intent of giving us the power to veto war, are forgotten. Token women in politics, who are uncomfortable with their natural instincts as women, are “allowed” to rise to prominance by towing the patriachal line and we are left with figures like Sarah Palin and Hillory Clinton. Are you any different? Please reconsider your stand on this act of violence and ask parliament to stop this and other acts of aggression.

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