Friday, March 18, 2011

Canada's Unrecognized Contribution

Media groups rarely recognize Canada's contributions to global issues. The contributions may not always be as large as some nations, but they are nonetheless important and it is high time this country gets some attention. The recent coverage of NATO's decision to approve a no-fly zone over Libya is a case in point.

A recent article by the New York Time's about NATO's approval of a no-fly zone over Libya did not mention Canada's role in the event. Their article mentions only Britain and France, as in the opening paragraph of: "The United States, Britain and France pushed forward against Libya on Friday as they declared that a cease-fire abruptly announced by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government was not enough, at least for now, to ward off military action against his forces." (New York Times). French forces currently have an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean which houses some 40 aircraft which could be used for this operation, but no exact number of aircraft or specific resources have been committed by France as of yet (Miami Herald). The US involvement is circumscribed only to the talks within NATO and supporting of various sanctions. There are no plans for the US military to support this mission in the form of troops or in leading the mission (Miami  Herald). However, the US "would provide "unique capabilities" to enable European partners to enforce no-fly zone, Obama said, and experts predicted that could include providing command and control, intelligence, surveillance and search-and-rescue functions" (Miami Herald).

Canadian CF-18
The Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, had this to say about Canada's involvement: "Canada will send six CF-18s, last in action in 1999 as they bombed Serb positions to protect the Albanians of Kosovo." This contribution may not be as large as some nations, such as the UK's who "according to David Cameron... [deployed] Tornados and Typhoon aircraft, as well as air-to-air refuelling and surveillance aircraft" (BBC News). Similar to France's commitment, Great Britain has not yet committed an exact number of aircraft. It is then interesting that Canada has provided an exact number. Regardless, Canada has been heavily involved in the NATO talks and are contributing resources in an effort to halt the violence in Libya. This stands as yet another example of Canada's involvement on the world stage being completely ignored by foreign and particularly American media sources.

All articles published on-line, March 18th, 2011

NYT article: Allies Press Libya, Saying Declaration of Cease-Fire Is Not Enough

Miami Herald: Obama Vows US Role in Libya will be Limited

G&M article: Canada joins UN call for military action in Libya.

BBC News article: Libya 'to halt military action'

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