You don’t get much for $300 million!

Inflation is an unfeeling brute. By the time the Trudeau government brings our six aging F-18s back from the Middle East, Canadians will have spent close to $300 million on the exercise. Obviously it is not cheap to maintain modern jet fighters half way around the world from home. The question is will they have little figures painted on the sides of the aircraft to represent the jihadists each aircraft has killed?

But your guess is as good as anyone else as to the number of extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) our pilots have bombed back to their maker. If we have only killed 300, that will be a million dollars per head. If we have blown 30,000 of the miscreants away, it could be a bargain at just $10,000 per head.

There are also munitions dumps and gasoline for the ISIL fighters’ pick-up trucks that can be bombed. When you do that, they start moving things around at night and spreading out the high-risk targets. And you would not want to waste an expensive guided bomb on a single pick-up truck.

We sure have come a long way from Dawn Patrol over the Ardennes in the First World War. There is no Red Baron out there in the Levant whereby a stalwart airman can earn the esteem of his comrades and the occasional good-looking nurse! The important thing is that he makes it back to base and the clean sheets on his bed.

With all the cameras on a modern jet fighter, there is no way a pilot can find an easy target of opportunity to use his expensive ordnance. If no worthy target can be found, the pilot has to bring the damn bomb back to base.

But we should be sympathetic for the hardships our air crews have suffered during their time in the Middle East. You can be sure that there were no legal off-base drinking and carousing establishments in those countries. And the fleshpots of Cyprus are just not worth the flight time for a little R-and-R..

Realistically, Canada’s pilots, ground crews and support staff have already been in the battle against ISIL for too long. The Trudeau government is right to stop the foolishness and bring our planes and personnel home.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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