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The Truth About Peacekeeping

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"

Changing the Guard

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"

Boots on the ground... but where?

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?"