Politics·CBC Forum

Canada has pulled its jets out of the ISIS fight. Here's what CBC commenters think about it

The government says that all Canadian coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have stopped.

The airstrikes have already ended, while local training will be ramped up

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says airstrike operations, while useful in the short term for military and territorial gains, do not on their own result in long-term stability. On Sunday, commenters voiced their opinions through CBC Forum online and on CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup. (Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/U.S. Air Force/Canadian Press)

Canadian coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have ended.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told the House of Commons that Canada's CF-18 fighter jets flew their last mission in Iraq and Syria last Monday.

That followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement two weeks ago that Canada would pull its jets out of the fight by February 22. Instead, the Liberal government is vowing to boost humanitarian aid and put more boots on the ground.

We wanted to know what you thought now that the airstrikes are over: Is the government right to pull jets out of the fight against ISIS? What will it lead to? Would there be a better alternative? You weighed in via CBC Forum, our new experiment to encourage a different type of discussion on our website, as well as on CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup, which posed the same question on its show Sunday. 

Here are a few of the most insightful, intriguing and thoughtful comments from the discussion.

Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.

Many agreed with Trudeau's decision: 

Several commenters thought that pulling out Canadian jets would make little difference overall. Canada had six CF-18 fighter jets involved in the bombing mission.

  • "Of course the government is right to change the direction of its strategic contribution, and that involves no longer flying bombing missions that have a nasty habit of hitting innocent civilians. Those opposing withdrawal of the CF-18s don't seem to understand how warfare changes over time, and now the coalition is turning its approach to a more ground-centred application." — Edward Carson
  • "Changing our tactic, and participating in a more constructive manner is definitely more humane, and could potentially be more helpful. Air power is definitely necessary, but other nations have it covered. Team work people." — Riley Griffith
  • "I'm with Trudeau on this. Bombing also kills innocent people & only continues to promote war. We are supposed to be a a peaceful country. By going in on foot & helping them protect themselves, gives them empowerment. We are not leaving them with nothing. Just helping peacefully." — Susan J Watson
  • "It's about 8941 kms from Ottawa to Damascus. This is not our fight. I am quite satisfied with Canada providing humanitarian aid and helping the Kurds. Most Canadians don't have a clue who the players are in the Middle East or understand the underlying struggle between Sunnis and Shiites."  — Pedro del Norte

Some even used past wars as examples to justify it:

  • "Have we not learned lessons from history? Bombing did not win WWII in Europe. If anything it made the populace even more determined in England and then in Germany. It did not work in Vietnam. You need a ground force which is well prepared for what it will face in an urban conflict as this will eventually be." — PStone

However, several commenters were critical of Trudeau's approach:

  • "There is no benefit to removing the CF-18s. No one strategy will resolve this conflict; it takes a multi-faceted strategy. Precise and effective air support is one tool we can provide. Instead, we are choosing to dismiss that tool for the sake of a campaign promise." — Yves B
  • "As a Brit, it seems pretty disgraceful that Canada has pulled out of the fight against ISIL. At a time when all European nations are increasing their combat contribution, not just the UK and France but Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, in response to ISIL's vicious attack on [Paris] in November, the Canadians are drawing back." — wildcolonialboy
  • "Pulling out the fighter jets gives ISIS a moral victory. Trudeau's campaign promise was illogical and ill considered. His promise makes no sense, especially because the Liberals have decided to put more troops on the ground. Denying air support is senseless."  — andrewwilmont99

You can read the full CBC Forum live blog discussion on Canadian jets and ISIS below.

Can't see the forum? Click here.