Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr knows what it’s like to fly a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jets.
And he says deploying them at the start of the effort to stop ISIS in Iraq was likely the right thing to do—at the time.
But the rookie MP says now’s the time to change tactics and he supports the Liberal government’s plan to alter the role of its military in the fight against ISIS, ending the CF-18 combat mission in favour of more Canadian soldiers helping to train, assist and equip Iraqis who are fighting in their own country.
“A majority of Canadians believe we should have a military presence as part of a balanced approach,” Fuhr told the Capital News Thursday.
And he said the government’s plan will provide that.
It’s a plan that appears to have the support of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Canada’s new plan calls for a tripling of the 69 military trainers that are currently in Iraq and an end to the CF-18 combat missions on ISIS targets.
Fuhr said it’s important that the Iraqis learn how to fighting and protect themselves to keep their country safe once the other countries like Canada, pul their forces out completely.
He said if Canada learned anything from its 10 years fighting in Afghanistan, it was was that its soldiers would not be there forever.
Fuhr said Canadian forces on the ground will continue to have air support in Iraq from coalition aircraft.
The former Conservative government sent the CF-18s to join other Western countries helping in the fight against ISIS.