Mark Collins – Canadian Government’s Peacekeeping Heart: With France in Africa it Seems

Further to this post and “Comments”,

Latvia with NATO vs UN Peacekeeping: Where Government’s Heart Truly is

the well-informed Matthew Fisher of Postmedia writes that

Truck attack in France ups the ante for Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Mali

Canada’s impending peacemaking mission to Africa took on a more urgent tone Thursday night when a Tunisian man drove a truck through crowds enjoying Bastille Day fireworks on Nice’s palm-lined waterfront.

French President Francois Hollande immediately announced that France’s already overstretched armed forces would mobilize 10,000 troops and every member of the army reserves to guard French streets, border crossings and airports.

France needs Canada’s help — and Canada will answer the call. The army and air force will be heavily involved in Africa and no unit more so than the French-speaking brigade built around the Royal 22nd Regiment, known as the Van Doos [unofficial website here].

As Postmedia first reported on July 6, the Trudeau government intends to send troops to French West Africa [story here]. Mali is their most likely destination, but the Central African Republic and a couple of other nearby countries are in the mix, too.

Ottawa and Paris have been talking for some time about where Canadian soldiers would fit into one of France’s multiple troop deployments there. No date has been set for the mission. The Dutch and the Germans have already been helping France with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA [website here]). That is because even before the murderous attack in Nice, the Hollande government was having difficulty sustaining the tempo of its African missions as well as operations against the Islamic State in the Middle East and against terrorists on French soil. It is why the RCAF has already spent a lot of time in Africa, using its C-17 Globemasters to provide essential logistical support for French forces.

Canada’s Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, had intended to travel to French West Africa next month to help hammer out the details of Canada’s mission there. After France’s latest terror attack, and the call-up of forces to defend France, that trip may have to be moved up…

Read on, note the risks involved; this is not the “traditional” peacekeeping of which so many Canadians are mindlessly (and a-historically) enamoured.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Canadian Government’s Peacekeeping Heart: With France in Africa it Seems”

  1. What Army units might do–at by dataperson:

    “Quick troops to tasks: 1x Bn HQ +1x Rifle coy to Latvia. Balance of 450 commitment is engr, sigs, int & CSS. Same Bn provides rifle company to Ukraine. For an African mission, we have 8 more Bns to choose from. Leaving 7 not deployed. That suggests a 2 year cycle.
    And we still have 3x Armd units to build standby high readiness groups.

    Challenging, but doable.”,123590.msg1445223.html#msg1445223

    Mark Collins

  2. French ending non-US mission in CAR, have very few personnel with UN’s MINUSCA–so shouldn’t need Canadian Forces help there:

    “France to end military operations in CAR in October”


    French contribution (scroll down):

    Mark Collins

  3. A friend’s reaction to sending the Canadian Forces for peacekeeping in Africa

    “The Globe and Mail’s (quite correct) response: deliverology may deliver caskets.

    The political machinations of this government still seem to be somewhat below the media’s radar. The PMO is practicing ‘deliverology’, the new voodoo buzzword du jour, which Wikipedia defines as ‘A method to ensure government departments implement desired reforms’; but in plainspeak it means that the PMO is kicking departmental butt to make sure that every cockamamie promise that Justin ever trotted out on a long campaign trail looks as if it is being implemented, no matter how ignorant, inane or self-contradictory.

    Domestically, ‘deliverology’ is at worst another fetishistic way of wasting the taxpayer’s money. Translated into the nasty real world of international politics it has the potential to be lethal.”

    Great snark.

    Mark Collins

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