The Case for Government Transparency

by samp on January 26, 2015 - 11:54pm

Canadian soldiers on the Iraqi territory were involved in a fight with Islamic State (ISIS) mercenaries. The opposition in Ottawa brought the topic in a parliamentary debate. Paul Forget, a Special Forces officer said Canadian soldiers would only use firepower if they were shot first, and would never provoke a fight.  Soldiers were sent earlier in Iraq to contain the increasing threat of the Islamic State and promote national interests in the region. The opposition didn’t like the fact that the general public and many politicians were not informed about the attacks.

                The interventionist approach by Canada should be revised by politicians. As citizens, it is highly incomprehensible to not be informed about Canada’s role in foreign conflicts. People should vote or call for more transparency as it involves their tax dollars and the usage of public funds. It also raises questions about secretive usage of Canadian soldiers in foreign countries. Equally, this event decreases the legitimacy of the current government and disrespects democratic principles. Therefore, people should call and put pressure on politicians for a more ‘’open’’ government.


Your analysis of the situation is interesting because you highlight the fact that the secrecy of the military intervention goes against our democratic principles and that the government must provide more information especially when it comes to intervention in a foreign country. I also like that you describe the militants as mercenaries and not actual fighters. However I do have to point out that those involved were not normal soldiers and it would have been good to further explain their role in Iraq.

I like the subject you have covered, and its heartening to see some of the concern about this being displayed. what i would like to point out is that the Canadian Government has been rather transparent about what the of the JTF2 is in Iraq. they are there to train the Iraqi National guard in the methods of modern warfare. The special forces were ambushed on three separate occasions and they fired their weapons to protect themselves. keep in mind that the conflict in which you are referencing involves soldiers who operate under a classified status, so the fact that the government is coming out at all to mention what has been happening is surprising.