Canadian general to take command of NATO mission in Libya
But not to be government.
To be sure, the Harper Conservatives are already circulating talking points to their candidates that refer disparagingly to the "coalition opposition." And you can expect to hear more about the evil coalition as the election campaign unfolds in the weeks ahead.Why a Canadian?
First because we were the only country in NATO whose Parliamentary parties, left, right, centre and separatist voted unanimously to support the No Fly Zone.
Second because the Canadian General is also a NORAD commander, making this still an American mission.
Bouchard, a native of Chicoutimi, Que, had been deputy commander of NATO's joint forces command, based in Naples, Italy. The former Canadian air force commander has been a member of the Canadian Forces since 1974 and graduated as a helicopter pilot in 1976. He has worked at key posts within Norad operations and has served at U.S. military bases on several occasions. He was awarded the United States Legion of Merit in 2004
And well, because we are after all polite....even in war.
Two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets took part in a mission over Libya on Tuesday morning, but returned to base without attacking their target because the risk of collateral damage was too great.
"Two CF-18s were tasked for a ground attack mission against a Libyan airfield," Lawson told a news conference in Ottawa.
"I can confirm for you that the air crew returned not having dropped their weaponry. Upon arrival on the scene of the target area the air crew became aware of a risk they deemed too high for collateral damage."
Lawson said the risk was not related to any threat to the CF-18s, but rather potential damage to civilians or important infrastructure such as hospitals, on the ground.
Lawson said the decision was in compliance with the rules of engagement that NATO forces have been given, and proves "the system works."