The conservative Canadian government announced earlier last week that the Royal Canadian Air Force would send six CF-18s, two CP-140 Auroras, and a C-150 Polaris, alongside approximately 600 personnel—most of them working to support the aircraft.

When the decision was made, it was clear that Canada would not engage in ground combat nor have their fighter jets flying in Syrian airspace. Out of the 69 offered SOF advisers from CANSOFCOM, 26 are presently on the ground.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper told Parliament that he doesn’t expect to eliminate ISIS. As a matter of fact, CBC reported that Harper only expected a degradation of the capabilities of ISIL, not their elimination by deploying these troops.

What is the point of engaging in a war against ISIL–or ISIS–if we don’t expect to destroy them? Prime Minister Harper, alongside his top brass at the National Defense Headquarters, knows that no war can be won without boots on the ground. This move is clearly intended to support Canada’s allies without getting into another bloody war that could cost him the election set for next year.