Sunday, July 29. 2007
The Globe and Mail cites a poll which finds 65% of Canadians (nearly 70% in Ontario) “believe their role on the world stage is more suited to peacekeeping than as enforcers of peace.” According to former Chrétien speech writer Peter Donolo, “Canadians may be pining for the days before 9/11 and are “nostalgic for the blue helmets” of the UN missions of the past.”
While acknowledging the basic facts and figures and Mr. Donolo's conclusions, Ruxted wonders how Canadians came to be so abysmally ignorant of our history to believe the lie that Pearsonian, baby-blue beret peacekeeping is Canada’s military ‘tradition’? Continue reading "The Truth About Peacekeeping" »
Friday, December 29. 2006
United Nations Peacekeeping, as a function, and the UN, itself, as an institution, have acquired mythical status amongst Canadians – especially in the media. It is important, therefore, to mark a changing of the guard at the UN. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon starts work on 1 Jan 07, replacing Kofi Annan.
Kofi Annan’s tour as Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations – where he was advised and assisted by Gen (Ret’d) Maurice Baril of Canada – was a low point in UN history. It signaled the failure of UN peacekeeping, as envisioned by the likes of Ralph Bunche (US), Sir Brian Urquhart (UK) and Lester B. Pearson (Canada). For this he was rewarded with the office of Secretary General. Continue reading "Changing the Guard" »
Thursday, May 18. 2006
Over the past two days, the media has been dutifully quoting the Polaris Institute’s latest analysis, Boots on the Ground - Canadian Military Operations in Afghanistan and UN Peacekeeping Missions, the full text of which can be found here:
This study, released on the eve of the Parliamentary vote on extending the Canadian deployment to Kandahar, purports to detail the cost of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan since our first deployment in 2001. Unfortunately, "Boots on the Ground" is a political document rather than a serious analysis of the financial impact of Afghan operations. Continue reading "Boots on the ground... but where?" »
Monday, May 15. 2006
A recent opinion piece from the Toronto Star leaves one wondering if that newspaper even employs fact-checkers to verify the accuracy of the assertions made by its contributors.
Examining Linda McQuaig’s piece titled "Surely we can spare 600 of our 18,000 troops to do what we do best — peacekeeping" in the May 14 edition of the Star line by line reveals an embarrassing array of errors in logic and fact. Beginning with the statement “Leaving aside politics, it's hard to imagine why Canada is sending troops to Afghanistan and not to Darfur.” one can immediately see that Ms. McQuaig has a very limited understanding of the situation in Sudan. Leaving asides politics immediately transports her piece into the realm of make-believe as politics are the single greatest factor influencing Canadian involvement in Sudan. Specifically, Canadian troops could not be sent to Sudan without the permission of that country’s government: anything else would be an invasion of a sovereign country. This is clearly an important political consideration and one that overshadows all others. Continue reading "The Truth About Darfur" »
Friday, May 12. 2006
A crime against humanity is being perpetrated in Sudan.
‘Determined nations’ (as some, including Canada, were described by one journalist) are being pushed and prodded into taking some sort of action.
It is highly unlikely that the UN Security Council (where Sudan’s friends China and Russia wield a veto) will authorize a robust, Chapter VII peacemaking/peacekeeping operation which might make it possible for NATO, for example (or some sort of coalition of the willing), to take on the mission on the UN’s behalf, with some prospect of success. Continue reading "Canada to Darfur?" »
Wednesday, April 19. 2006
Many who oppose Canada’s role in Afghanistan say we should not be there since it is not a "Peacekeeping" mission. Canadians cling to the myth of peacekeeping without any real understanding of the origins and nature of UN (or Pearsonian) peacekeeping. This lack of understanding is leading to unrealistic expectations of what can or should be done in Afghanistan and elsewhere, or even why Canadian troops should be deployed at all. This confusion on the part of the Canadian public, press and politicians is dangerous; dangerous in preventing us from protecting and promoting our national interests, and dangerous to the brave men and women who serve. Confusion about our national purpose can lead to choosing the wrong aims for missions and selecting the wrong courses of action to achieve those aims. Perhaps worse, the enemy sees this confusion as evidence of a lack of will and may step up violent attacks against our service members in an attempt to break our will. Without a proper understanding of difference between traditional, Pearsonian peacekeeping and keeping the peace in the 21st century, we could spend our blood and treasure without achieving any useful result. Continue reading "Peace Making, not Peacekeeping is the order of..." »
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