Editor’s Corner article
King Abdullah II of Jordan vows “relentless” war on ISIS (the group Arabs derogatively call Daesh). “This is our war, this is the Muslim world’s war, and this is the Arab’s war, because Daesh is in the fronts of Jordan, and putting threats to Saudi Arabia and to Kuwait and to other Gulf countries, as well as Iraq and Syria of course, so it is logical for all of us to say and understand and accept that this is our war, especially that Daesh is committing this war on the name of Islam, which is absolutely not correct, and not true,” stated Mohammad Al-Momani, a Jordan Government spokesperson, as that nation began its airstrikes against the barbaric cult. While ambivalent towards the killing of Westerners, the Arab world is finally fighting back against the group of jihadis who apparently consider Al-Qaeda to be too pacifistic. So misguided is the IS emotional state, that it responded by claiming the Jordanian air strikes had killed a female U.S. hostage, hoping Western sentiment would turn on Jordan. On the contrary, we applaud Jordan, and any Arab nation that will vocally and consistently distance itself from such violence and hatred, and take clear action to dispel the erroneous belief that other nations are attempting to vanquish Islam or suppress the freedoms of any peaceful person.
Protection from abuse
There can be no mistaking the fact that North American populations, in particular, are awakening to the fact that turning a blind eye to bullying and other negative behaviours has very long-term negative ramifications. On numerous occasions, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, has taken a strong stand on issues of sexual abuse in its many forms, stating unequivocally that “Sexual assault is a crime. It is an abhorrent and corrosive act that goes against the entirety of our military ethos […] and will not be tolerated within the CAF […] We will pursue any and all allegations of sexual misconduct and we will protect complainants from reprisals.”
This is not your grandfather’s Navy
Similarly, in a clear example of strong leadership in the challenging area of culture change, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman has taken the dated ‘drunken sailor’ navy culture and given it a good shakeup. Under the changes Admiral Norman has recently instituted, the Royal Canadian Navy will clean up its act and emerge as the professional fighting force most of its members aspire to and train for. He has taken advantage of the unique opportunity of wide-ranging fleet recapitalization and new training requirements as perfect timing for propelling the navy ethos squarely into the 21st century.
Defence Procurement: it’s the Government’s duty to get things moving
With volatility around the globe not showing signs of calming, the readiness of the CAF should be a high priority for a government mandated to keeping us safe and secure. That includes not allowing the equipment of our land, sea, and air forces to rust out as they wait to be replaced. It also includes a duty to ensure budgeted funds are not lapsing – wildly and beyond reason (as they have been) – in a process that serves only to reinforce the current culture of unaccountability and inefficiency.
Chris MacLean, editor-in-chief
© 2015 Frontline Defence