03 January 2016
Peacekeeping itself has continued to grow. The UN is now deploying more peacekeepers to world hot spots than at any time in its history with 130,000 military, police and civilian personnel serving in 16 missions. The UN now puts more troops in the field than any other actor including the American military, and the missions are more complex than ever. Our financial contribution has paralleled this growth, but when it comes to boots on the ground, we have become something of a slacker.
Now that we have fired the militaristically-inclined Stephen Harper, who saw our forces as a sort of foreign legion for the American empire and despised the UN, and replaced him with a PM who has a more comprehensive view of the world's challenges, perhaps we can return to the role we once filled so well. As a country with advanced military and logistics capabilities, we can make a major contribution to the effectiveness of operations.
At U.S. President Obama's Peacekeeping Summit last October a number of nations, including European governments and China, pledged to commit 40,000 new troops and police, 40 utility and attack helicopters, 15 military engineering companies and 10 field hospitals. We can and should be part of this renewed interest. Canadians, after all, have consistently said they prefer our military peacekeeping rather than war-fighting.
Quite aside from the altruistic goal of helping to create a more peaceful world, as a trading nation we have much to gain from international stability. With no external threat to our borders, this is an effective way to get value for money out of our military. By helping the world, we can help ourselves.
Posted by Bill Longstaff at 12:11 pm