A “holistic” approach to “fighting” ISIL

A report in today’s National Post says that International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau confirmed that the Trudeau government will, within days, will “announce a holistic approach and this includes all our contributions in terms of military, in terms of diplomacy and in terms of humanitarian assistance and development.” She added that “it’s important for us to do it together, and we’ll do so.”

Holisticadjective1. chiefly Philosophy Characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole1.1 Medicine Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

First, I hope Mme Bibeau is right and that the government will develop a properly holistic approach, but what she describes, in my mind, is something like the Harper government’s 3D approach: Defence, Development and Diplomacy … and many have doubts about how well that worked.

I have just finished describing the rat’s nest complexities that I see in the Middle East, and I’m pretty sure, in fact, that what I posted is a gross oversimplification.

The report says that “[Defence Minister Harjit] Sajjan told a foreign policy conference last week that the government was taking its time deciding on a new mission to ensure Canada’s contribution was both meaningful and wouldn’t make things worse. He has previously called for better intelligence and an approach that deals with the region, not just Iraq and Syria.” Announcing a “holistic approach” within days sounds, to me, more like political desperation than strategic deliberation.

Anyway, I recall, last year, that my doctor tried a “holistic approach” to my stubbornly “high normal” cholesterol levels: I changed my diet; I exercised more; I did this and that and the other thing; finally she adopted the medical equivalent of “whipping out our CF-18s” and bombing ISIL ~ she prescribed Rosuvastatin Cacium (Crestor) because the medical equivalents of Development and Diplomacy are not very effective against a determined enemy.

I suspect that if we, Canada, actually want to help in the fight against ISIL ~ and the jury is still out on that question, in my opinion ~ then bombing, despite the fact that the Laurentian Elites hate it, may be the equivalent to my Crestor. Prime Minister Trudeau may have hoped that sunny ways and unicorn farts were going to work but sometimes bombs are the right, even the only answer.


I sincerely wish Prime Minister Trudeau well in finding a way to square the “fight ISIL without really fighting” circle that he has created for himself … but I doubt his “holistic approach” will amount to anything but “wishing and hoping” unless he stops campaigning and starts leading.

Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

4 thoughts on “A “holistic” approach to “fighting” ISIL

  1. And even a Conservative government cranked ‘er back to 3D’s in Afghanistan in the end – without a lot of complaints or negative commentary from the right-of-centre at the time. Mind you, that was also after a lot of blood & treasure had already been spent, too. Interesting to see how this approach that not many people complained about in the past now seems to be such a bad one.

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