The man who once led Stephen Harper's transition team is questioning the government's military entanglement in Libya.
"We have jumped into Libya with our eyes wide open but does anyone know where it will lead or why Canada is so directly engaged?" Derek Burney, who headed the transition team when the Conservatives took power in 2006, writes in a new paper for the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute.
"The emotions and humanitarian instincts to do 'something' are understandable but so, too, are arguments advocating prudence."
Burney, one-time chief-of-staff to prime minister Brian Mulroney and former ambassador to the United States, even wonders whether the Harper government committed air power to Operation Odyssey Dawn to regain global ground after last year's embarrassing loss in the bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.
"Is it because we were snubbed for a Security Council seat and want to re-establish our credentials for 'peacekeeping'?
"Is it because we regard ourselves as an architect of the (UN) Responsibility to Protect concept?" which obligates states or the international community to protect civilian populations.
Well the straight forward anwser is that it might have something to do with the Harper Government (c)(tm)(r) wanting to buy F-35's which are stealth combat planes, not really what Canada needs for Defense of its claims to Arctic sovereignty, or for its defense of North America. But certainly what would be needed to change our role from Peacekeeping, to 'peace-making' which is simply Orwellian Harper speak for war making.
Only a handful of fighter interceptors remain of the many U.S. and Canadian squadrons once available. NORAD’s founding raison d’être, standing by to fight a vast air defence battle, is also gone. Long gone. Those arguments for retaining NORAD are not strong, though, and it is even harder to argue that NORAD is functionally essential for Canada-U.S. defence co-operation. In other words, Canada does not need to be part of a binational aerospace defence command. Nor is a binational homeland defence command necessary.
As Canada uses its outdated CF-18's to bomb Libya it gives the Harpocrites justification to say that they need to upgrade to F-35's.
The other reason is that it is good for his masculine tough guy image. Just as he did in 2006 after first getting elected, he donned his Khaki's and went to Afghanistan for a photo op.
And with a pending federal election being a tough guy internationally helps his tough guy image at home. Of course that means he probably won't be wearing sweater vests this election campaign, unless they are Khaki.