10 Questions about Libya

Media Release
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2011

10 QUESTIONS ABOUT LIBYA

(Ottawa) Canada’s involvement in Libya raises important issues which deserve serious consideration. The following questions were put forward by experts and Rideau Institute senior advisors in preparation for this week’s parliamentary debate on the issue.

THE GOVERNMENT’S OBJECTIVES

1. What precisely are our objectives in Libya and how do we define success?

2. The Speech from the Throne stated that the government would pursue a “foreign policy that advances Canada’s interests.” How are Canada’s national interests being advanced through this military mission?

3. What conditions will determine whether Canada will extend its Libya mission a second time, when this authorization expires in the fall of 2011?

MILITARY OPERATIONS AND ALTERNATIVES

4. What alternatives are being considered if the airstrikes are not successful?

5. Are Canadian special forces operating in Libya, and under what conditions would the government consider deploying regular troops to the country?

6. Are diplomatic steps being taken to promote a ceasefire and a democratic transition in Libya?

UNDERSTANDING THE REBELS AND PROTECTING CIVILLIANS

7. Who exactly are the rebels, and have they been recognized as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people?

8. What specific steps will the government pursue to ensure the protection of civilians, including providing humanitarian aid to displaced people?

SECURING PEACE AFTER THE CONFLICT

9. If regime change is achieved, are the rebels capable of securing the country, or will UN peacekeepers be required? Would Canada contribute?

10. How will Canada support a long-term peaceful, secure, and democratic outcome following the conflict?

Here is the motion that will be debated Tuesday and voted on Wednesday:

That, in standing in solidarity with those seeking freedom in Libya, the House unanimously adopted a motion in the Third Session of the 40th Parliament on March 21, 2011, authorizing all necessary measures, including the use of the Canadian Forces and military assets in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; and given that the House unanimously agreed that should the government require an extension to the involvement of the Canadian Forces for more than three months from the passage of the said motion, the government was to return to the House at its earliest opportunity to debate and seek the consent of the House for such an extension; therefore the House consents to another extension of three and a half months of the involvement of the Canadian Forces in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1973; that the House deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime against the Libyan people, including the alleged use of rape as a weapon of war by the Libyan regime; that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Standing Committee on National Defence remain seized of Canada’s activities under UNSC Resolution 1973; and that the House continues to offer its wholehearted support to the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces who stand on guard for all of us.

– 30 –

See also: “Cost of Libya mission will be $80-85 million – not $60 million”

Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute
t. 613 565-9449 ext. 24, c. 613 290-2695, e. sstaples@rideauinstitute.ca

The Rideau Institute is an independent research, advocacy, and consulting group based in Ottawa.

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