The Current

Canada's training mission comes with complicated history and risk, experts warn

Prime Minister Trudeau has made it clear that Canadian Forces will be focused on training local soldiers to take on ISIS, rather than continuing the bombing mission. Previous training missions were marked by significant failures. Should the plan be re-evaluated?
Some experts warn that Canada needs to re-evaluate its training mission in the fight against ISIS because we are are at risk of mission creeps and casualties. (Op Impact, DND)
"We made a clear commitment in the campaign to stop the bombing mission by Canadian jets and to replace it with a serious military role that leans more towards training local troops to be able to bring the flight directly to ISIS."- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The world has changed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised to end Canada's participation in the aerial bombing of ISIS.

The attacks on Paris, Beirut, and the Russian jet in Egypt – all suspected to be the militant group's work – might have changed the equation.

Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to increase the number of troops on the ground in Northern Syria and Iraq to help train local forces in their battle against ISIS. He argues this is the best use of Canadian resources. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Trudeau is sticking to his campaign promise and instead will put more Canadian soldiers on the ground, to help train local forces in the fight against ISIS.

There are already 69 Canadian special forces troops working to train Kurdish forces and the Iraqi military. And soon there will be more.

Lieutenant-Colonel Vanessa Hanrahan is Regional Departmental Security Officer for the Pacific in the Canadian Armed Forces. She was part of training initiatives for the Afghan National Police from August 2010 to August 2011. We reached her in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Doug Bland is a retired Canadian forces, Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, and former Chair of the Defence Studies program at Queen's University.  As previous missions have shown, training missions can carry serious risks and he says this time is no different. 

Christian Leuprecht is a professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada and a senior fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute. He feels Canadians are in a unique position to train anti-ISIS forces and build lasting alliances, networks.

We asked Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan to address some of the concerns raised about Canada's upcoming training missing to fight ISIS. We did not hear back. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Ing Wong-Ward, Sarah Grant and Ottawa Network Producer Matthew Kupfur.