Tag Archives: United Nations

Mark Collins – Canadian Forces into Africa with UN for Three Years: Where? (hint Mali plus…)

Further to this post (note Senegal as logistics hub in “Comments”),

RCAF Chinook Helos for UN Peacekeeping Mali? Canadian Army?

the national defence minister gives a timeline and some details of types of mission but not yet where–and sensibly makes clear that new “peace operations” will not be like “traditional peacekeeping”:

Canada committed to three-year deployment in Africa
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact.

Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact.

It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground.

“These missions, all of them, have the level of risk where peacekeepers have been hurt, they have been killed. And we’ve been looking at the risk factor in a very serious way,” said Sajjan.

Asked about his approach to deploying Canadian forces to conduct counter-insurgency operations — something the previous Conservative government was keen to avoid in Africa when it turned down requests to deploy soldiers to Congo and Mali — Sajjan said “some of it is going to be the reduction of radicalization in certain areas, in other parts it will be developing the capacity of the host nation [i.e. Mali].”

Just back from Mali, which hosts the deadliest United Nations mission in the world right now, Sajjan says it’s clear there are risks there. He said the same risks exist in the other African missions under consideration by the Liberal government.

But, he added, there are also risks to Canada of doing nothing to counter insurgent groups that are terrorizing populations and radicalizing new recruits, and suggested he and the Liberal government have made this clear to Canadians from “day one.”

“This is not the peacekeeping of the past — we need to look at what the challenges are of today and develop the peace operations for today’s challenges.”

After having travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia in late summer, and Senegal and Mali in the past week — Sajjan said he believes the UN mandate for and rules of engagement with hostile forces are “robust” enough to address the risks, particularly in Mali. The UN mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, has seen 106 casualties since it was established in 2013, including 69 from “malicious acts.”

“One thing I did learn, the mandate for the mission is robust so there no concern that our troops would be limited in any way,” said Sajjan. “I had a very direct conversation with the political leadership of the UN and the force commander about that, and the safety of our troops is always paramount.”..

Sajjan stressed that a big part of the federal analysis underway — as he, two other federal ministers, and military and civilian fact-finders have travelled to Africa — is examining how Canada’s contribution of some 600 soldiers and up to 150 police can have a maximum impact, whether it’s through military training, building on economic development programs and opportunities like on the “agriculture side” in Mali, or combating sexual violence, including by UN peacekeeping troops…

Sajjan said Canada is looking at spreading its various contributions — military, police and civilian — among a number of UN missions [see list here], not African Union-led missions, in Africa. But it will support African Union efforts at the same time…

Right now, he said, much of the public attention is on exactly where soldiers will be sent.

But he said Canadians should expect a broader mission that could see troops sent to one end of Africa while other elements of Canada’s contribution will be sent to a different part. He said there are troop and police training centres across Africa, and “a small number of troops or even RCMP can have significant impact in other areas, to make a training centre far more effective.”..

Sajjan said the government has “narrowed” the ultimate destinations for its Canadian mission, but did not tip his hand on his preference.

He said there is nothing to be read into the countries he’s travelled to, nor the fact that he recently went to Mali, saying he couldn’t fit it into the earlier trip to central and East Africa. Although he has not travelled to the Central African Republic, Darfur, or South Sudan, Sajjan said he has addressed the same questions around those missions at meetings in Ethiopia late summer.

He said the decision on where to dispatch Canada’s peace support mission is expected to be finalized by the federal cabinet before end of year [emphasis added]…

So a Schwerpunkt in Mali with several penny-packets elsewhere it seems.

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


Mark Collins – Canada and UN “Peace Operations”: Letter of Mine in Globe and Mail

November 8 in print edition–scroll down to the third letter at “War and peace” (links added):

Your editorial recommends that Senegal be the focus for renewed peace operations by the Canadian military (Start In Senegal, For The New Peacekeeping, Nov. 4). But the government has made it clear that the point of such missions is to support UN-led peacekeeping operations; unfortunately, there is no such UN operation in Senegal to support.

It seems much more probable that the government will commit some military personnel to the UN mission in Mali, with Senegal serving as a logistics hub to support both them and the UN mission more broadly.

The editorial also states that “a counterinsurgency in a chaotic, arid country such as Mali … would be outside the experience of most members of the Canadian Armed Forces.” That “arid country” sounds like Kandahar province in Afghanistan where thousands of Canadians fought a counterinsurgency against the Taliban from 2006 to 2011.

How soon we apparently forget.


RCAF Chinook Helos for UN Peacekeeping Mali? Canadian Army?

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

Mark Collins – RCAF Chinook Helos for UN Peacekeeping Mali? Canadian Army?

Further to these posts,

Canadian UN Peacekeeping in Mali? RCAF Helicopters?

Africa: UN’s CAR MINUSCA Mission to be Canadian Forces’ Schwerpunkt?

a Canadian Forces’ operation in Mali is looking ever more likely. Besides CH-147F transport helos will some armed CH-146 Griffons be sent? Though not attack helicopters, they could certainly provide fire support for today’s killer peacekeeping (more here on that)–but how off-putting might such a quasi-combat role be for our government? And will there be a significant Army contingent? Remember the government has committed to supplying some 600 Forces’ personnel to the UN:

Sajjan heads to Mali, Germans consider attack helicopters, Canada might provide Chinooks

There are reports in the German media that the country’s military is looking at providing Tiger attack helicopters [see here] to accompany RCAF Chinooks for an upcoming mission in Mali.

But the Liberal government says it still has to decide on whether those Chinooks, based in Petawawa, Ontario, – or any other units for that matter – would be heading to a mission in Africa.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Press is reporting [story here] that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will travel to Mali and Senegal later this week as the Liberal government considers where to send hundreds of Canadian peacekeepers.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau visited Mali in September. Sajjan visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

In September, the Canadian government sent a team to Mali to do a reconnaissance mission for a potential UN operation in that country. The reconnaissance team included members of the Canadian military, Global Affairs Canada and the RCMP.

The UN mission currently involves around 10,000 military personnel taking part in an effort to stabilize Mali [MINUSMA, website here]. Various armed groups, including Islamic insurgents, have been conducting sporadic attacks in that country. The UN plans to boost the mission by around 2,500 personnel.

The UN has also made it known it would like attack helicopters and transport helicopters to fill the void left by the withdraw of Dutch Chinooks and Apaches [attack helos] from Mali.

“We have decided to continue the Mali mission, but with a reduced capacity,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters Oct. 7. “Dutch helicopters will be withdrawn.”

Sajjan has said that by the end of the year the government expects to make its decision on the next peacekeeping mission. But in his interview with the Canadian Press, he appeared to retreat somewhat on his previous statements. “We need to go into this eyes wide open,” Sajjan said. “So based on that, I have not set a deadline as I want to make sure that we do all the necessary work, so that we can have the meaningful impact.”

The French would certainly welcome as large a Canadian contribution as possible, as would the UN.

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

Mark Collins – Africa: UN’s CAR MINUSCA Mission to be Canadian Forces’ Schwerpunkt?

More trial-ballooning from the government (another recent example here on shipbuilding):

Canada peacekeepers seem set for Central African Republic deployment before end of year

The government’s decision on where in Africa to send Canadian peacekeepers will rank as one of its most portentous — if the Liberals get it wrong it could prove fatal to their prospects at the next election [that’s quite the stretch].

This helps explain why, a year after Justin Trudeau proclaimed that Canada is back on the world stage, Canada is not yet back.

The plans appear to have been drawn, scrapped and redrawn in recent months. But sources suggest that if a decision on deployment is not imminent, it will at least come down before the end of the year.

The most likely outcome is that the bulk of Canada’s resources [total up to 600 military, 150 police] will be sent to Central African Republic, the landlocked country of 5 million that ranks 187th out of 188 nations on the human development index [more here and see Canadian government’s advisory: “AVOID ALL TRAVEL“].

It sounds increasingly as if some military resources will also be deployed in neighbouring Mali, where the United Nations mission covets Canada’s Chinook helicopters [see “Canadian UN Peacekeeping in Mali? RCAF Helicopters?“].

But while the Trudeau government is conscious of the need to confront Muslim extremism in Mali, it is keen to resist calls to commit hundreds of combat [surely only if necessary] troops in a country where 32 UN peacekeepers have already died this year.

CAR is considered a much less risky bet for Canadian personnel — according to Walter Dorn, professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada [and a big booster of UN peacekeeping for Canada]…

The thinking at Global Affairs Canada [the new title of our foreign ministry] (admittedly, often not the same as the thinking inside the Department of National Defence), is that the conflict in the CAR is relatively self-contained — a quasi-peace where some armed groups have already signed up to a disarmament agreement introduced by the newly-elected government.

…a UN special report last spring said CAR has made “considerable progress” since early 2013, when Muslim Séléka rebels forced the government to flee, amidst fighting with mainly Christian anti-balaka militias.

There are currently 10,000 UN troops and 1700 police in the country keeping a kind of peace [Operation MINUSCA], despite outbreaks of violence between armed groups, and incidents like the murder this week of a senior army officer in the capital Bangui, which set off clashes that left 11 dead [see also: “Violence hinders aid delivery in northern Central African Republic: agencies”]…

It is striking how minuscule (good UN mission title?) is the European contribution to the CAR mission–scroll down from latter part of p. 2 PDF here. There are quite a few more Euros in the Mali mission, e.g. Germany, Netherlands, Sweden–p. 5 PDF here; and there is also a major French combat force around, Opération Barkhane.

Meanwhile we see this from the Chief of the Defence Staff; the dithering, to be polite, is getting embarrassing:

Gen. Jon Vance flips and flops on Africa

Posts on (killer) peacekeeping broadly:

Canadian UN Peacekeeping in Mali? RCAF Helicopters? Part 2

“The end of peacekeeping, and what comes next for Canada’s soldiers” [note “Comments”]

It remains ass-backwards to announce the number of military personnel one will commit before deciding on which missions–with which roles therein–one is willing to undertake.

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

Mark Collins – Iraq: Upcoming Battle for Mosul, Plus Turkey

The latest at the invaluable MILNEWS.ca:

Closer to Mosul Push “Anti-ISIS fight will get harder after Mosul, says Canadian general”“Canadian general: ‘Fall of Mosul is inevitable’ ““Mosul’s Liberation From ISIL ‘Inevitable,’ Canadian General Says” (US DoD Info-machine)“Coalition general: ‘Final rehearsal’ before Mosul fight underway”“Plans Take Shape for Iraqi Assault on Mosul”“Islamic State conflict: How will the battle for Mosul unfold?”
“To Drive ISIS from Mosul, a Complicated Coalition Joins Forces”
“Canadian general warns Islamic State fight will get harder after Mosul”
“Daesh leaders defecting before Mosul operation: general”
“Abadi to Mosul residents: “victory is near” “ – “Iraq Prime Minister Promises Victory In Mosul”
“Iraq: Impending Mosul assault puts 600,000 children in line of fire – Iraq” (Save the Children)
“IS Plans Widespread Destruction in Mosul as Conditions Worsen for Residents”
“Shia Badr forces will consider foreign troops intervene in Mosul battle”
“Turkey’s presence at Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq is at the request of Kurdish authorities who recognize their forces in the country, Turkey’s deputy prime minister declared on Wednesday, adding that no one has right to object to their presence …”
TUR-IRQ Friction “Turkey-Iraq Tensions Rise as Battle of Mosul Approaches”“Iraq Warns of Regional War With Turkey”“Turkey not in Iraq as occupiers: Deputy PM”“Turkey says it does not aim to be an occupier in Iraq”“Iraq asks UNSC to discuss Turkish presence in N. Iraq”“Iraq seeks emergency UN Security Council session over Turkish military presence”
“Pro-govt Iraq fighters ‘likely’ killed in coalition airstrike near Mosul – US official”“At least 20 Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters die in mistaken air strike”“Pentagon probes pro-govt Iraq fighter deaths in coalition strike”…

Not exactly simple.

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

Mark Collins – No Canadian UN Peacekeepers for Colombia–Only Africa?

A parochial observation on an important development–more  excellent reporting at the Globe and Mail:

Colombians narrowly reject peace accord to end 52-year war with FARC rebels
Stephanie Nolen

That apparently leaves Africa–the big picture there by CGAI Fellow Jack Granatstein:

Think carefully before deciding to deploy peacekeepers

Very relevant–note the Canadian government sensibly no longer actually refers to “peacekeeping” and note Colombia in latter “Comments”:

“The end of peacekeeping, and what comes next for Canada’s soldiers”


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

Mark Collins – Fall 2016 Issue of CGAI’s “The Dispatch”

The table of contents:

Message from the Editor

Brexit, the Anglosphere and Canada 

The Obama Moment—Defence Spending Does Matter, eh!

Are Canada’s Digital Security Policies Being Decided in Washington?

Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy: Time for a Reset! 

Time for Canada to Shine in Space Diplomacy

For Today’s Peacekeeping, Prepare for War

NATO and Canada’s National Interests

Reviewing the Summer of the Defence Review

The Inevitable End of the Turkish-Western Alliance

New Canadian Government Talking the Talk on Climate Change

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

Julian Lindley-French – Can the West Peacekeep and Warfight?

This post was originally published on September 8, 2016, on Lindley French’s Blog Blast: Speaking Truth Unto Power:

Alphen, Netherlands. 8 September.

“The UK and U.S. are determined to play our part in ensuring that our peacekeepers are up to the task of protecting civilians, abiding by the rule of law, and honouring the UN principles of humanity, impartiality and independence”. This was the central message from US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in a piece in Today’s Times. The piece was written on the occasion of the “UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial” which Fallon will today host in London. The meeting begs a critical question that neither Carter nor Fallon were willing to address: can the West any longer undertake both peacekeeping and warfighting missions?

The facts. As of 30 June, 2016 there were 16 UN peacekeeping missions led by the Department for Peacekeeping Operations with 88,221 troops deployed from 123 countries, plus police and other support staff. Whilst Western forces provide important specialised support only some 5000 or 5% of UN peacekeepers actually come from the West.

The big elephant in today’s elegant Lancaster House room will be thus: how can ever-shrinking Western forces engage in ever more missions across an ever more demanding conflict spectrum demanding in turn ever more tasks and skills? Take the U.S. and UK; sequestration has critically undermined the ability of Washington to undertake longer-term force planning as modernisation has had to be sacrificed for readiness. Whilst on paper the US Army appears strong with some 450,000 active duty personnel, plus a US Marines Corps of 180,000 personnel, 40,000 troops are to be cut by the end of 2017. The British cut their tiny regular army down to 82,500 from over 104,000 in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. Worse, problems with recruiting means the regular force is now only some 78000 strong, whilst the much vaunted ‘Reserve Army’ is finding it hard to recruit the 30,000 troops to ‘compensate’ for repeated cuts to the front-line force, which has seen limited modernisation too often come at the expense of readiness.

Michael Fallon said this morning that Western engagement in UN peacekeeping was vital to prevent weak states collapsing and consequent hyper-migration and terrorism. Back in the 1990s it might have been possible for Western forces to engage exclusively in peace-making and peacekeeping missions because in a relatively permissive post-Cold War strategic environment the idea of major war had been banished. However, as I will say in a major speech I will be giving in Geneva tomorrow, those days are long gone.

If NATO is to successfully adopt what it calls a “360 degree approach” not only will Alliance forces need to look simultaneously east, west, south north, up and down, if they are to be credible ‘deterrers’ and defenders they will also be called upon to operate to effect throughout the conflict spectrum from low-end peacekeeping, to peace-enforcement, engaged counter-terrorism operations AND prepare for a possible future major war. That will mean large, tightly-interoperable forces able to operate to effect across the seven domains of twenty-first century warfare – air, sea, land, cyber, space, information, and knowledge.

Colonel J.F.C. Fuller, the great British military-strategic thinker said that all forms of warfare involve manoeuvre and attrition. At the lower end of the spectrum even relatively ‘permissive’ operations demand a large amount of manpower. As such peacekeeping operations are not ‘warfare-lite’, as many Western (particularly European) politicians like to pretend. As Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have demonstrated preventing a weak state tip into terrorism and migration-fuelling anarchy demands a grand strategic campaign involving the application of huge forces and resources over time and distance.

So, if the Alliance is to credibly defend Poland and the Baltic States, which is my firm commitment, NATO forces must also be ready to prevent a possible war with Russian forces, a strategic hybrid war with a nasty nuclear tinge. That means the forward deployment of NATO forces in sufficient strength and of sufficient quality, and with the demonstrable ability to reinforce quickly, overseen by crystal clear political will and deft decision-making, and underpinned by resilient societies.

So, can the West peacekeep and warfight? At present no. The Americans lack sufficient mass of force to do both, whilst the Europeans lack both mass and manoeuvre forces in anything like the strength, or indeed at the level of necessary military capability and capacity.

On the BBC this morning Michael Fallon was not even asked this pivotal question. Rather, after announcing 100 more British soldiers will go to the South Sudan, he then retreated into the now usual strategy-defying politically-correct guff about how important it is to get more women involved in peacekeeping, and to prevent sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers. Yes, these are important topics. However, they are also part of a displacement strategy by politicians to avoid the real issue; sending 100 more British troops to peace-keep in South Sudan is 100 less British troops to defend the Baltic States. So small are European forces in particular that such choices really are these days part of a zero sum game.

If the West wants to peace-keep and war-fight seriously it will need to first act as the West and aggregate all of its forces and much of its effort. That means more and far more, far better forces than the West’s possesses today. For the democracies to suggest otherwise is to simply engage in yet more 1930s-echoing reality-appeasing political guff. The result of such guff is all too apparent in Europe’s armed forces today; small forces with a little bit of everything, but not much of anything.

Julian Lindley-French is an internationally-recognised strategic analyst, advisor and author, Vice-President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, CGAI Fellow, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft, Director of Europa Analytica & Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, National Defense University, Washington DC

Julian Lindley-French – Is the G20 the Real Security Council?

This post was originally published on September 5, 2016, on Lindley French’s Blog Blast: Speaking Truth Unto Power:

Alphen, Netherlands. 5 September.

Is the G20 the real Security Council? Over the past two days the heads of state and government of the G20 (Group of Twenty) top world economies met in Hangzhou in China to discuss a whole host of weighty topics. It is certainly interesting how the G20 seems to be steadily eclipsing both the Western-weighted G8 and the UN Security Council as the place where real power meets.

It is also worth stating just which states are in Hangzhou: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK and US, plus (of course!!!!) the EU. This year the likes of Egypt, Spain and Singapore were also invited, along with the leaders of leading regional powers, together with a host of institutions.

Whilst the agenda was essentially economic in flavour the context was doggedly and decidedly about strategy and power. And, whilst the states represented come from all the world’s flashpoints it is also clear to see three emerging twenty-first century strategic groups; the World-Wide West, the Illiberal Great Powers, and the New Non-Aligned. In a sense G20 more than any other forum captures the way of the world in 2016; a strange, dangerous and unpredictable world of power, weakness and informality. It is a rapidly changing world in which state power matters more than ever, but in which there are also a whole host of weak and failing states. It is a world in which international institutions proliferate, but their influence over world events appears to be failing. It is a world in states dominate, but are challenged by the anti-state more than ever before.

Take the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which, since its 1945 founding and for all its many travails, has remained the formal focus of state power interaction, even during the Cold War. Indeed, it was the UNSC which during the Cold War provided the theatre for much dramatic confrontation between the West and the former Soviet bloc. However, even though it appeared paralysed for many years the very bipolar nature of the Cold War made it possible for institutional conflict resolution to play an important part in its eventual resolution.

The world today is decidedly multipolar with institutions not only paralysed but fractured by many different disputes with no dominant state or bloc, not even the United States. Indeed, one notable aspect of this G20 were the divisions within the West, which would have been noted by all others present, particularly Presidents Putin and Xi. The strange sight of President Obama both reaffirming the ‘Special Relationship’ with Theresa May’s Brexit Britain and then dissing it was indicative of a new age in which power relationships even between close allies are as fluid as at any time since 1939.

That strategic fluidity ran through the G20 and with it the danger that ‘might’ will progressively replace ‘right’ as the shaping force of twenty-first century geopolitics. In a fluid strategic environment the ability of a state to decide and act quickly is at a premium, whilst multilateral institutions are rendered ponderous and reactive.

The whole purpose of post-1945 institutional architecture was to embed states in institutions to prevent extreme state action. However, be it China’s claims to much of the East and South China Seas, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, or the West’s selective interpretation of UN Security Council resolutions over the past twenty-five years, it is clear why formal international relations and the 1945 institutional construct is beginning to fail.

Hence G20. Since its founding in 1999 the G20 has steadily become the forum for real power. Naturally, the architects of the G20 would beg to differ. They would claim that as a place where power can talk G20 reinforces rather than diminishes institutional international relations. However, in much the same way as informal coalitions within alliances eventually threaten to destroy said alliances, regimes such as G20, reflective of power as they are, and indeed where power actually resides, over time inevitably eclipse and then destroy formal international institutions.

Therefore, if one places this week’s G20 in its rightful strategic context one sees a world teetering on the brink between might and right. Much like prior to World War One it is a world in which big state power is increasingly eloquent. This means that even if a powerful state defects from a set of accepted rules and norms, and even if it might be condemned for so doing, its very power means that it could not be punished. There simply would not be sufficient countervailing power to exact punishment, nor sufficient willingness on the part of other states to join together to re-impose agreed norms, precisely for fear of the power of the defecting state.

So, is the G20 the real Security Council? No, because such a council is where accepted norms and rules are applied. However, it is a ‘regime’ in which true power resides. And, as Thomas Hobbes once warned, “Covenants, without the sword, are but words, and of use to secure a man at all. The bonds of words are too weak to bridle man’s ambition, avarice, anger, and other ambitions, without the fear of some coercive power”.

Forget the formal agenda of the G20. The real agenda in Hangzhou concerned power, change, who is up…and who is going down.

Julian Lindley-French is an internationally-recognised strategic analyst, advisor and author, Vice-President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, CGAI Fellow, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Statecraft, Director of Europa Analytica & Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow, National Defense University, Washington DC

Mark Collins – “The end of peacekeeping, and what comes next for Canada’s soldiers”

Further to this post and “Comments”,

UN Peace Support Operations: Canada’s Back! (into Africa and…)

the conclusion of a Globe and Mail editorial:

“Canada is back,” the government boasted on Friday. But peacekeeping isn’t. We are about to embark on an undertaking that may routinely put Canadian soldiers’ lives at risk in the most dangerous places in the world, and where Canada’s national interests may not even be at stake.

Are Canadians ready for that? And did they ever want it?

Exactly. But far too many Canadians ignorantly long for a mythical tradition. Including the Crvena Zvezda. Here’s the pap headline of their editorial:

Canada finally dusts off its blue helmet: Editorial
Canada is ready to assume its rightful role as a nation dedicated to UN peacekeeping following a welcome new commitment of troops and money.

Dust off your history instead:

Not Remembering Canada’s Real Post-WW II Military History

Including Canadian nukes.

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