When were the Canadian people asked by those who represent them, if they wanted to further participate in any wars or military conflict overseas? Under Harper's Conservative reign thus far, he has allocated at least $122 million toward Canada's involvement fighting the threat of ISIS (terrorism) in Iraq, and it looks like it might end-up costing a lot more. With over 600 members of the Canadian military being deployed to the area. Let's not forget that Canada has also invaded and occupied Afghanistan for roughly 10 years following the 9/11 attacks, again fighting against terrorism along with several others. The nation's military has also been involved in Libya aggressively, and other conflicts as of late. Defense spending under Harper has increased consistently throughout many of the years and in 2012, Canada spent roughly $22 billion on the Department of National Defense alone. With a growing issue of poverty affecting many Canadian citizens, some might wonder why such excessive funding is being allocated to a seemingly never-ending conflict. Not only are individual citizens suffering from poverty, but the country itself is running a fairly high deficit in the trillions, it simply cannot afford to copy the moves of the US in taking on the initiative to take part in numerous conflicts overseas. Not only does this harm the reputation of Canada to those who have traditionally seen us as a peace-keeping nation, but it is also harming the future of Canadian citizens by driving the nation further into debt with wasteful spending. Some may want the nation to engage in further conflict, but it simply can't afford it and doing so, again, is detrimental to the economic prosperity of the nation's future.
The reason that it seems rather illogical to spend tens of millions of dollars on any “war on terror” is because the initiative itself is a self-perpetuating ghost-chase. Let me explain. At most, our conflicts overseas are a symbolic gesture, rather than an effectively well-planned, and purposeful strategy. Thus far, Canada has already invested over ten years toward this conflict of terrorism, without any clear idea of what victory would even look like or translate to, and without any clear exit strategy in place. Terrorism is essentially a tactic and there isn't any way that you can win a war against a tactic, because it can be used by any person, at any time, and for any reason. How can the state ever expect to put an end to terrorism when it can’t even prevent simple crimes like speeding, drinking and driving, or illegal substance abuse etc? What the state doesn't want to accept, is that you cannot entirely prevent the initiation of violence, the only thing that you can do is respond when a violent act is committed. As our previous article regarding the war on terrorism stated, Canada already has services in place that can assist with such a need of protecting individuals and their property from criminals (like terrorists). These services can assist in offering an investigation, consequence, and remedy for whenever an injustice occurs.
Unfortunately, when you use terrorist or excessively violent actions in response to terrorism, you only perpetuate the problem. With this sort of conflict, many innocent people lose their lives at the hands of the state and this only inspires more people to join the cause that we are fighting against. The recent bombing attacks against ISIS from the US alone, have led to roughly 20,000 new foreign fighters signing-up to join the Islamic State. This is what I mean by a self-perpetuating cycle. How many more will choose to engage in conflict each time an innocent person loses their life and the only justification given is “collateral damage” ? It seems that they are more likely to grow powerful, the more that the West intervenes. Perhaps a serious initiative to focus on would be to stop funding these groups in the first place. The US has been bombing the Middle East for well over a decade now, and many would say that the threat of terrorism is now more prevalent than ever, so then are we to really accept that more of the same will result in anything different? Shouldn't we learn from our own past mistakes and those of the US? Because we seem to be setting the bar rather low for ourselves.
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