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Canada's military will soon be able to disrupt ISIS: defence minister

Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan meets with members of Canadian Forces. (Photo via Twitter: @HarjitSajjan)

New defence policy includes a team of cyber operators and the purchase of drones

Ottawa is increasing the military's budget by 70 per cent over the next decade

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – A day after releasing his sweeping new policy for the future of the nation’s military, the federal defence minister says the new cyber team for the Canadian Armed Forces will be able to disrupt terror organizations like ISIS.

As the military looks to expand its role, the new defence policy from the government is giving the Armed Forces the power to engage in cyber attacks, and hire a team of new cyber operators.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says this is a key move to respond to ever changing threats facing our country. “We need to make sure that we always stay ahead of our adversaries on this.”

Sajjan adds this team will be used to disrupt ISIS in our mission in Iraq. “Making sure that we can shut down IED and devices so that our troops, as they drive down the road, that they don’t explode.”

He adds cyber attacks can be used to prevent Islamic State agents from using the Internet to teach someone how to make something like an improvised explosive device. “A facilitator that’s teaching other people online how to build IED’s that potentially might, threaten our soldiers — being able to shut that down for the sake of safety of our troops. Those are the thing we’re talking about,” adds Sajjan.

Yesterday, Sajjan revealed the government’s new policy will see an increase in spending of 70 per cent over the next decade from $18.9 billion to $32.7 billion. He was questioned why he won’t say where this new money will come from. Sajjan simply repeated that the government will make sure the money is there.

Part of the new policy includes buying drones, however, there have long been concerns about the ease at which someone can pull the trigger from thousands of kilometres away, and the many reports of innocent civilians being killed in drone strikes.

However, Sajjan says drone operators will not be acting like their job is some sort of video game. He adds the gadgets are not just for combat but also surveillance and stresses they won’t be used in the same way as other countries.

Sajjan can’t say yet how many drones the military will be purchasing or exactly how much they will cost the federal government.