Taking a smaller role means fewer invites to be expected

On Jan. 20, a meeting was held in Paris that brought world leaders together to discuss plans to combat ISIS. The United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Australia, were all invited to the meeting, but not Canada.

Since then, various media outlets have made sensationalist proclamations to the public that we’ve been “snubbed” by the other nations at the meeting for our lack of commitment or our potentially short sighted foreign policy, and how we deserved a seat at the table.

Looking back to last year’s federal election, one of Prime Minister Trudeau’s campaign promises was to withdraw the CF-18 fighter planes from the Middle East, which he doubled down on after election.

When Canada made the decision to withdraw our planes, something that has yet to happen, we took a step back from combat in the Middle East, and thus are no longer playing as large a role as other Western countries. The agenda for the meeting was to discuss how to best combat ISIS. A major portion of the meeting was dedicated specifically to the necessity for air warfare, accompanied by discussions surrounding the recapture of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and special operations forces.

While many media outlets took this as a personal affront to Canada, our government has no reason to be discussing a military mission they aren’t involved in.

There is currently no concrete plan for how Canada will replace the air support that has been implemented over the past few years in Syria and Iraq. Presently, all that has been released to the public is the commitment to train troops and local police to effectively fight against ISIS. This will be extremely important, but isn’t enough to warrant a seat at the table in an international meeting that will strategize for larger, military interventions.

While other countries like the United States are doubling their support, we have not yet unveiled our plan for international involvement. As a country we need to evaluate our priorities, and not be left with our feelings hurt after we have made an active decision to be less involved in something that is of significant priority to other countries.