With military brass describing the conflict in Libya as mostly a stalemate on the ground, the NDP Opposition says Canada should withdraw its military contribution of ships and planes next month.
A senior Canadian Forces officer, Major-General Jonathan Vance, said Canadian planes are flying about 6 per cent of the military sorties in the mission, including about 8 per cent of the attack strikes, and the lion’s share of the maritime surveillance patrols.
But as he described the fight between rebels and Moammar Gadhafi’s forces as “somewhat static,” the New Democrats reiterated that they will not support an extension of Canada’s military mission in Libya past the late-September deadline set by a Commons vote in June.
“Come the end of the timeline that we’ve set in Parliament, in September, I think it’s time to say that’s enough of the military equation for Canada, and we need to put our focus on the diplomatic side and the political side,” said NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar.
“There’s been success in ensuring that the civilian population is protected, but we do not want to be in a conflict that is ongoing, and no end date.”
The New Democrats’ insistence that staying any longer will amount to committing to a long-running war, with rising dangers of “mission creep,” mean that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, which so far has stressed multi-party support for the operation, will have to decide whether it will continue the mission without a parliamentary consensus.
Mr. Dewar’s comments came after Maj.-Gen. Vance, director of staff for the Canadian Forces’ strategic joint staff, described small ebbs and flows in the movement of pro- and anti-Gadhafi forces, but indicated there’s no expectation of a rebel breakthrough leading to military victory.
“The situation has been described as somewhat static, which is accurate,” he said. As anti-Gadhafi rebels gain resources and experience, they have made “incremental increases and improvements,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re anticipating a cataclysmic military end as a result of anti-Gadahafi force ground movement,’ Maj.-Gen. Vance said. “But it’s slow and steady. And we’re certainly not seeing the reverse.”
Mr. Harper’s government has stressed Canada’s significant role in a military mission that has seen eight allies carry the burden of strikes, led by Britain and the France, while the United States, not keen to take the lead in another war, has played a major but not dominant role.
Mr. Dewar noted that the NDP was in favour of a mission to establish a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians. But taking part in a long-run mission raises increased fears that Canada will be drawn into “mission creep.”
The Harper government has backed the rebels’ National Transitional Council and stressed that Col. Gadhafi must leave power, and argued that NATO allies must stay unified on the mission.
Mr. Dewar noted that Norway has ended its role in the military mission, and argued Canada should do the same, and focus on diplomacy. He did not argue that all NATO countries should give up the mission, however.
Canada, he said, must focus on a political settlement and ceasefire, including putting forward its position on ways for Col. Gadhafi to leave, and whether a settlement could be negotiated where Col. Gadhafi leaves power but remains in Libya.
“What has been our position on what it means for Gadhafi to go, for instance. We need to make sure that we’re in line with our allies,” he said. And he argued the government should be talking more about what Canada would do in a post-conflict Libya.
“I’m with the generals on this one,” he said. “There is no military victory to be won.”
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
The NDP can't use their brains because that's an area that they are
The logic of being involved in Libya, defies their understanding as to why its in Canada's national interest.
One reason for the NDP blindness is that they are guided by those with an axe to grind, the gay and lesbian lobby group who increasingly promote societies War on Men.
More Canadian men kill themselves because they can't pay their support and or can't see their kids than those who are killed in Military action and road accidents combined.
That way, the commander in chief, Jack "the John Layton" , a childless promoter of hatred towards men, who claims to be an extreme feminist while he took advantage of a Chinese Prostitute in a Triad Chinese Criminal gang's brothel in Toronto while he lived in a subsidized rental pulling in a six figure income.
Its that kind of leader, the NDP have had his temporary replacement, comes with a BLANK history that begs more questions that it answers.
Just why is her personal history so devoid of information?
Why is it that she throws up her left hand to the camera to show that there is no ring?
Typical of what you can expect from the No Dads Party.
Now, if the NDP had a brain, they would tackle the Conservatives brainless "tough on crime agenda" that enables the conservatives to launder their money, first its taken as taxes, given to the PRivate Prison Lobby Groups then partly received back as Political "Donations" that are blatantly "extorted" with demanding phone calls.
The evidence is piled on by the platter load yet, the NDP can't get their heads out of the gay and lesbian zealots mindset to think of something that is very obviously wrong with the crazed world of the far right.
Now, what happened to the Liberals" They made a crazy decision to have a nut with a Parisian accent open his mouth in French in Quebec. That was just one reason why they bombed.
So, when are we going to hear from Justin Trudeau?
Probably when his family life allows and thats a smart and wise decision.