SUPPORT US

In The Media

Defence minister downplays threat to troops in Iraq from Trump immigration order

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Thomas Juneau)

The Globe and Mail
Jan 30, 2017

OTTAWA -- Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has expressed confidence about Canada's mission in Iraq, even as U.S. officials and others warn that the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could be undermined by President Donald Trump's recent immigration ban.

"Great progress is being made and there's no concern for the security of our troops," Sajjan told reporters on Monday. "It is a dangerous place, obviously, because we are fighting (ISIL). But nonetheless really good progress is being made."

Trump signed an executive order Friday barring citizens from Iraq and six other predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. He signed another order Saturday directing U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis to present a new strategy for fighting ISIL within 30 days.

The orders come as more than 200 Canadian soldiers are on the ground in Iraq, where they are helping Kurdish forces fight ISIL. They also come as Canadian commanders prepare options for the next phase of the mission, whose current mandate is set to expire in March.

The immigration order has been particularly controversial, with warnings it will drive a wedge between Iraqi and coalition forces in the fight against ISIL. There have also been fears that it could help terrorist groups recruit new members.

Those concerns appeared to get a boost on Monday when Iraqi parliamentarians asked their government to "retaliate" against the U.S., though Iraq's foreign ministry instead urged the Trump administration in a statement to "reconsider this wrong decision."

ISIL and other terrorist organizations have also taken to social media to celebrate the immigration ban, describing it as proof of America's hatred toward Muslims.

While federal officials told The Canadian Press they are watching to see how the immigration ban impacts Canada's mission in Iraq, Sajjan downplayed any potential concerns, saying he was confident that U.S. military officials would ensure the impact is minimal.

"When it comes to working with our allies, the coalition will obviously do their own assessment," he said. "Keep in mind this coalition is led by a U.S. general and they would have had some already good consultations to making sure there's no impact on the mission."

U.S. media reports, however, have suggested that Mattis and American military leaders were kept completely in the dark and not consulted before the executive order was signed.

Two prominent Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have come out strongly against the order, warning that the immigration ban could become "a self-inflicted wound" in the fight against ISIL and other terrorist groups.

"Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred," the two senators said in a joint statement.

"This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."

Sajjan danced around questions as to whether Trump's order would incite more people to join ISIL, saying that he plans to discuss ways to stop terrorist recruiting efforts when he meets Mattis.

Thomas Juneau, an expert on Middle East politics at the University of Ottawa, said all countries involved in the fight against ISIL are scrambling to determine whether the immigration ban puts their troops or the mission in jeopardy.

"Does something like this raise the threat level for coalition forces in general in Iraq, if only because they're associated with the U.S.?" he said.

"It's a very difficult question to answer, especially so early on. But it is certainly one that folks in the Canadian military and in other members of the coalition are asking themselves with a lot of anxiety."


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS


No events are scheduled at this time.


SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Passport? What passport?

by Martin C. Barr (feat. Andrew Griffith), Laval News, June 29, 2022

Oil production test looms for OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia, UAE

by Editorial Staff (feat. Ellen Wald), S&P Global, June 29, 2022

Eric Nuttall & Amrita Sen - Oil & Energy Update

by Eric Nuttall (feat. Amrita Sen), Nine Point Partners, June 29, 2022

All talk, no traction

by Maura Forest and Andy Blatchford (feat. Robert Huebert), Politico, June 29, 2022

U.S. pushes for Russian oil price ceiling. Feasible?

by Matt Levin (feat. Ellen Wald), MARKETPLACE, June 28, 2022

Russia Ukraine Update

by Susan Bonner (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), CBC Radio One, June 28, 2022

Un sommet de l’OTAN pour tenir tête à la Russie

by Marie Vastel (feat. David Perry), Le Devoir, June 26, 2022

A geopolitical alternative system of co-operation for nations

by Staff Reporter (feat. Swaran Singh), The Zimbabwe Mail, June 26, 2022

Analyst says high oil prices spurs little drilling

by Lee Harding (feat. Kevin Birn), Western Standard, June 26, 2022

It’s time for Canada to get serious about defence

by John Ibbitson (feat. James Fergusson and Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 25, 2022

Trudeau meets with Rwandan president, expands diplomatic mission in Kigali

by CBC Newsroom Staff (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Newroom, June 24, 2022

With New Threats Looming, Canada Commits Billions to Air Defense

by News Desk (feat. Andrea Charron), New Express News, June 24, 2022

Drop in oil prices is not a quick fix for global inflation

by Editorial Staff (feat. Amrita Sen), The National, June 24, 2022

Highs and Lows of the Spring Sitting

by Peter Van Dusen (feat. Andrew Griffith), Prime Time Politics, June 24, 2022

Oil Incurs Second Weekly Loss As Analysts Differ On Inflation, Demand

by Ship and Bunker News Team (feat. Amrita Sen), Ship And Bunker, June 24, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email