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  • #61
    MacLeans article
    http://www.macleans.ca/politics/otta...t-ministering/

    Jason Kenney, the former defence minister, was quick to assert that Hollande’s statement “has implications for Canada under the NATO Treaty’s Article 5.” Article 5 is the big one: it declares that an attack on one member state is an attack on all, and will meet a response from all. There followed a tirade from Kenney, interrupted with heckling from yours truly, to the effect that from the moment Hollande said the word “war,” Canada had a treaty obligation to ditch Trudeau’s plan to withdraw the CF-18s.

    To call Kenney’s reasoning shaky would be to insult Jell-O. First, as NATO’s own website explains, you don’t invoke Article 5 with incantations. You do so at a meeting of the alliance’s North Atlantic Council, and Article 5 has been invoked precisely once in the alliance’s 70 years: after 9/11.

    Second, again using NATO’s own language, “Allies can provide any form of assistance they deem necessary to respond to the situation. This assistance is not necessarily military and depends on the material resources of each country. Each individual member determines how it will contribute.”
    It’s disturbing to see a former defence minister and near-certain aspirant to the Conservative leadership invoke Canada’s most fundamental mutual-security alliance with little apparent understanding of what it says or means.
    I’m also a little tired of these Conservative party chicken hawks. If the fight against Islamic State is existential, then don’t send a measly six CF-18s. If procuring new fighters is fundamental to Canada’s security, procure some. If Canada doesn’t cut and run, then don’t end Jean Chrétien’s Afghanistan deployment just because Stephen Harper grew weary of the fight. If the way to stop refugees leaving Syria is to make Syria less of a hellhole, then don’t give Bashar al-Assad carte blanche.

    If, on the other hand, you belonged to a government that ended the Afghanistan mission, deployed nothing more than cross words against Assad, and did not send more hardware to the region than Belgium and the Netherlands, then maybe do a little less chest-beating.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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