Monday, October 24, 2016

Airdrie Legion set to unveil 1st Light Armoured Vehicle Monument in Canada

By: Ryan Rumbolt, The Calgary Herald

Once a part of Canada’s military might, a light armoured vehicle is patiently waiting for its debut as a monument.

Part of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III Program, the decommissioned LAV is the first of its kind in Western Canada. The LAV was delivered to Airdrie’s Nosecreek Valley Museum on Oct. 19 and will serve as a memorial to veterans who served in Afghanistan.

A Canadian LAV (light armoured vehicle) arrives to escort a convoy at a forward operating base near Panjwaii, Afghanistan at sunrise on Nov.26, 2006. The Canadian Press has learned that Canada's foreign ministry is closely monitoring all of the country's military exports, but won't revisit the controversial decision to allow the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland

0514 ed black
A Canadian LAV (light armoured vehicle) arrives to escort a convoy at a forward operating base near Panjwaii, Afghanistan at sunrise on Nov.26, 2006. The Canadian Press has learned that Canada's foreign ministry is closely monitoring all of the country's military exports, but won't revisit the controversial decision to allow the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland 
The LAV III Program recognizes the service and sacrifice of the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan by providing a full-sized, demilitarized replica of the LAV III to qualified, deserving communities throughout Canada.

A veteran of peacekeeping missions in Egypt and Cyprus, retired Canadian Forces Sgt. Bob McNevin led the Airdrie LAV committee. McNevin said it is time for Canadians to start honouring the younger generation of veterans and their families, and the LAV monument is a way for the older generation to pass the torch of remembrance to veterans of more recent conflicts, such as Afghanistan and Bosnia.

“It’s these young men and women — that’s what it’s all about,” McNevin said. “I did not realize how many veterans we have in the city of Airdrie.”

Retired British Armed Forces Sgt. Bill Drummond is also with the Airdrie LAV Committee, and said many people only associate the Legion with veterans of the First and Second World Wars, and echoed McNevin’s wish to honour younger veterans.

“I think it’s a fitting tribute for the young fellas and women who put their lives on the line for world peace,” Drummond said. “To them, it means that they are being recognized — especially someone who has any kind of PTSD problems.”

The LAV III is a versatile fighting vehicle, able to reach speeds of more than 100 km/h. Drummond said Canadians were “seen as the envy of all of the United Nations troops” because the LAV is “so adaptable.”

“They were used as ambulances, they were used as mobile offices, they were used for taking troops out to advanced outposts,” Drummond said. “And they were taken there in relative safety.”

Drummond said the project to bring the LAV to Airdrie was estimated to cost around $70,000, butlocal businesses took the brunt of the financial load by donating money, transporting the LAV from Ontario and even pouring the concrete pad for the monument.

McNevin said he was stunned to see so many members of the community show their support for the LAV project by donating time, money and supplies to bring the monument to Airdrie.

“I want (veterans and their families) to see what we’ve done for them as a community,” McNevin said. “I’ve been involved in a lot of things and this is the largest rally I’ve ever seen of the community coming together.”

Currently sitting under camouflage netting, the LAV III monument will be unveiled during a ceremony Nov. 6 at the Nosecreek Valley Museum at 1 p.m.

CH-148 Cyclone Involved in Its First RCN Exercise

By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch 

SPARTAN WARRIOR 2016, a Canadian-led military training event, started today and will run until November 16, the Canadian Forces says.

It will take place off the east coast of Nova Scotia and along the eastern seaboard of North America, going as far south as the Bahamas.

Participants include Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Fredericton, St John’s, Athabaskan, Montreal, and Spanish replenishment ship (ESPS) Patino, with embarked Royal Canadian Navy personnel, the CF noted in its news release. Additional participating units include a destroyer, replenishment vessel, and submarines from the United States Navy. Aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force and USN will also participate. The ships will transit down the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and will end their training in the Caribbean Sea.

In addition, a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter will be involved in its first RCN exercise, continuing to test and evaluate its operational capability, the Canadian Forces noted.

A CH-148 Cyclone helicopter moves into position over the flight deck of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Montreal, for deck evolutions on April 20, 2016 off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Photo: Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia
A CH-148 Cyclone helicopter moves into position over the flight deck of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Montreal, for deck evolutions on April 20, 2016 off the coast of Nova Scotia. Photo: Leading Seaman Dan Bard, Formation Imaging Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia HS2016-0332-048

Too fat to fight? CAF considering tougher fitness standards for African Deployment

By: Amanda Conolly, iPolitics

Military also considering tying promotion opportunities to physical fitness levels

Soldiers deploying for an upcoming Canadian peace operation in Africa may be subject to physical testing beyond the baseline tests given to members of the Canadian Forces — and there is a “valid concern” about whether soldiers are fit enough now to meet those requirements, iPolitics has learned.

According to a senior Canadian Armed Forces official, the military is considering whether to impose battle fitness testing for soldiers preparing to head to Africa on one of the UN peace operations underway there. But in light of a new report that found 75 per cent of regular force members had a Body Mass Index that put them in the ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ categories, questions are being asked about whether Canadian troops are fit enough for a high-risk mission such as the one in Mali.

“I think it’s going to be something that is looked at and looked at seriously,” the official said.

A similar test was used to assess battle fitness prior to deployments to Afghanistan. It measures physical fitness above and beyond the baseline testing soldiers are required to undergo in the Canadian Forces and includes tests — like carrying sandbags — that simulate the physical environment of combat.

Image result for CAf on patrol in Afghanistan
Canadian Forces members take a break while on patrol in Afghanistan (file photo - Hill Times)
The official said that there shouldn’t be an issue with frontline units that would be tapped first to deploy, since they’re generally in peak physical shape.

However, there could be a problem with certain specialized trades that also may need to deploy to support the main force.

The challenge is twofold: The Canadian Forces have been getting recruits who are less physically fit than in past years — but at the same time, existing CF members are also becoming increasingly sedentary.

Unlike the American military culture, where there is little tolerance for members who do not maintain peak physical fitness, the Canadian military is more forgiving and less inclined to force members to get back in shape.

That needs to change, the official said, and the Canadian Forces are now exploring the idea of tying physical fitness to promotion opportunities to encourage members to stay in shape.

“It speaks to that the institution is starting to realize this is a problem,” the official said. “We recognize the trend is going the wrong way.”

According to the new CF fitness report, 49 per cent of Canadian Forces regular force personnel were classed as overweight based on their self-reported BMI, while another 25 per cent fell into the category of ‘obese’.

Just over six per cent of regular force members were also rated ‘morbidly obese’ in the latest report, compared to just 3.6 per cent in 2004.

One of the criticisms often leveled at the use of BMI statistics to gauge individual fitness is that it’s an over-broad measure that may not be accurate for every individual.

BMI statistics also can’t tell the difference between high muscle mass and body fat; a BMI rating can put people who are very thin but heavily muscled higher on the scale than someone who carries more body fat and less muscle since fat weighs less than muscle.

In the American military, soldiers who are flagged as falling into the overweight BMI categories are called in for a second round of testing that can capture muscle mass. From there, military officials can assess whether there is actually a problem with the soldier’s fitness level.

Going beyond the “quick and easy” BMI testing takes resources, though — resources the Canadian Forces don’t have.

And in any case, BMI inaccuracies are not the driving issue behind the trends this report portrayed, as was noted within the document itself.

“The vast majority of males and females with an obese BMI perceived themselves as carrying excess body fat,” the report said. “High muscle mass could, therefore, explain some cases of overweightedness in males, but is unlikely to account for many cases of obesity in either males or females.”

Is Mali the right job for the Canadian Forces?

By: Amanda Connolly, iPolitics

The UN mission is extremely dangerous — but it may play to the CAF’s skill set

The UN mission in Mali is the world’s most dangerous.

Sixty nine peacekeepers have been killed in attacks there since the mission started in 2013. The dynamics on the ground are complex to say the least, with a fledgling peace process being propped up by the blue helmets. A broader French counterterrorism mission across the Sahel is fighting to keep Islamist terrorists from again seizing control of Mali’s north as they did in 2012 amid the chaos of an army coup in the capital. And the country is ground zero for a network of criminal drug and people-smuggling rings that stretch across the region.

That’s the bad news. The good news — at least from Canada’s perspective — is that a Canadian peacekeeping mission in Mali could actually help the situation on the ground.

As speculation mounts across the defence industry that Canada will soon announce a contribution to the mission in Mali, experts say it’s worth considering the ways in which, despite the risk, the mission could benefit from the unique capabilities of Canada’s military.

“Mali has a legitimate peace process ongoing and it needs to be fostered in order for the country not to break out into war again,” said Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the Canadian Forces College and chair of the Master of Defence Studies program at the Royal Military College. He studies peace operations.

“I think that the mission is proving quite successful at stabilizing the situation in Mali and that it’s indispensable for the peace process to move forward. So supporting the mission in Mali would make a key contribution to Africa.”

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in August that Canada will commit 600 troops and about 150 police officers to UN peace support operations. Since then, there has been no specific commitment from the government to any particular mission, beyond an acknowledgement that the mission will be in Africa, that it will be a long deployment — and that it will be dangerous.

But as General Jonathan Vance, chief of defence staff, told the Senate defence and security committee last month, the fact that a mission is dangerous doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.

“A risky mission that has great potential for success may be a mission that you want to invest in, and in the military, we do risk,” said Vance on September 21. “We’re good at that, if we can mitigate it. If the risk is not mitigatable and is out of all proportion and at the same time there’s no hope of moving forward, then it’s probably the wrong mandate and it would very likely be a mandate on which I would advise the government that it would need to do more work with the UN before you would commit troops.”

And as Senator Mobina Jaffer pointed out in the same meeting, Mali is no Afghanistan.

Canada lost 158 members of the Canadian Forces during that nine-year war but developed extensive expertise in managing insurgent warfare. That knowledge could be useful in supporting allies already on the ground in Mali, given heightened recent tensions there due to terrorist attacks and social unrest.

“Mali fits the capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces quite well,” said Dorn. “Because of our Afghanistan expertise, we can operate in areas where there are IEDs and we’re well aware of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. So the peace operation there, although it’s a different mode of operation … we still have the expertise in those kinds of environments from Afghanistan.”

Responding to recent attacks, the Mali mission recently expanded by an additional 2,500 troops, bringing the total number of international troops stationed there to just over 15,000.

Most of those soldiers come from African or non-Western nations like Bangladesh and China. Germany maintains a force of 570 soldiers, the largest Western contingent in the UN mission.

The mission now faces a critical equipment gap: The Dutch, citing operational strain, are scaling down and preparing to pull out their Apache attack choppers and Chinook transport helicopters early next year.

Given statements from Canadian officials in the past about the need to identify gaps in existing missions, that raises the question of whether Canada could fill at least part of that operational gap by providing Chinooks to assist with troop transport as it did with the French counterterrorism mission in 2014, when Canada sent Globemaster III strategic lifters.

Canada has 15 brand-new Chinooks, delivered in 2014 at a cost of some $4 billion and currently stationed out of CFB Petawawa, as well as Griffon helicopters mounted with machine guns during the war in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referenced that contribution of Globemasters during a press conference last week with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. He was responding to a question about whether the subject of Mali came up during his talks with Valls. Asked whether that suggests the government sees the looming helicopter gap as an opportunity for Canada to fill an operational gap, a spokesperson for Sajjan said it’s still too early to say exactly what the mission will be.
(Credit: United Nations – Department of Field Support. Cartohraphic section)
“As the government looks to re-engage in peace support operations, we are looking at ‎all the ways in which Canada can contribute. As you saw with our expanded mission in Iraq, one of the things we look to do is find gaps in existing missions and look to filling them,” said Jordan Owens, press secretary for Sajjan. “But still too soon for me to confirm a location or specific contribution.”

Three other missions also come up frequently in discussions about a Canadian contribution: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

And while iPolitics has reported in the past that South Sudan is not being considered by the government, both the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo present challenges that might suggest they wouldn’t be the best fit for a government looking to make a specific, focused impact.

“(Mali) is clearly one of the more difficult in a certain way, but it’s also one of the more clear-cut missions at the same time in the sense that South Sudan … Central African Republic, you’re wading into in essence a civil war (there) as opposed to a counterterrorist operation, which is really what’s happening in Mali,” said George Petrolekas, who served with the military in Bosnia, Afghanistan and NATO and is a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

“The Congo is the largest, best-financed and most enduring UN mission in Africa and it still hasn’t brought resolution to anything. South Sudan and Central African Republic are difficult for me because in a sense they’re civil wars going on and it’s not as clear-cut.

“Mali has its own difficulties, just because of the fact that it’s more of a fight as opposed to classical peacekeeping. So in the Congo, because of its size, we would just be a drop in a bucket of water. The presence wouldn’t necessarily be felt.”

Petrolekas also pointed to the recent increases in allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic and hinted at the negative impact those could have on Canada’s international reputation.

There were 69 allegations made in 2015 against UN peacekeepers — an increase from 52 in 2014 and 66 in 2013 — roughly one-third of that number against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and 16 against peacekeepers in the DRC.

“When you think of allegations that have been made against UN troops in other peacekeeping missions like in the Congo and the Central African Republic … it doesn’t mean that you’d be doing the same things but you’d be tarnished by the actions of others. There’s less of a chance of that, I think, in Mali,” Petrolekas said.

It’s also possible the mission will be a joint one, with Canadian troops split between several missions in Africa, Dorn suggested. He cautioned, however, that with the DRC being so far behind in development and basic infrastructure, the difficulties in measuring firm progress there might see a smaller contingent of troops deployed there, with a main force in Mali.

“In terms of meaningful impact, both missions would give great opportunities, so it’s quite possible that we’ll make a contribution to both missions,” he said. “I think the main effort will be in Mali.”

HMCS Preserver paid off after 46 years of service

DND Press Release

HMCS Preserver concluded its service to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on Friday. The Auxiliary Oilier Replenishment (AOR) was officially "paid off", receiving a final salute from current and former sailors, soldiers, airmen, and airwomen during a ceremony at HMC Dockyard Halifax. The paying-off ceremony signals the end of the ship’s service to the Royal Canadian Navy.

According to RAdm J. Newton, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, the Protecteur-class ships set the standard in modern navies for safe and expedient replenishment at sea. The essential but inherently difficult and dangerous task of resupplying ships at sea with food, fuel, munitions, and spare parts was executed by Preserver, and sister ship Protecteur, for 46 years. To accomplish this task, the ships travelled in the North Atlantic, across the wide Pacific, and into Canada’s Arctic waters.

First of class, HMCS Protecteur was commissioned in 1969, and HMCS Preserver was commissioned a year later in August 1970. The RCN intended to operate the ships until 2017. Protecteur suffered a serious engine room fire in 2014 and was sold for scrap metal in 2015, and corrosion problems were identified on Preserver, which contributed to her early retirement and today's paying off ceremony.

Canada intends to build two new auxilliary vessels, the Queenston-class joint support ship, at Seaspan shipyards in the Vancouver area, however, those will not be complete before 2019.

In a stop-gap measure, the RCN’s replenishment requirements are currently being addressed through leasing arrangements with Spain and Chile. The Spanish replenishment ship ESPS Patino is currently supporting the Atlantic Fleet.

In another answer to the serious capability gap left by the Protecteur-class AORs, the Government of Canada signed a contract in August 2015 (Project Resolve) with Davie Shipyard of Quebec to convert a German commercial container ship (built in 2010) to take on the resupply role for the RCN. The conversion was expected to be completed and the ship active in service by 2017.

Quick Facts

The term “paying off” refers to the British age-of-sail practice of paying a crew their wages once a ship has completed its voyage. In the RCN, the tradition continues with the term paying off referring to the formal ceremony where the naval jack, ensign, and commissioning pennant are hauled down, the crew departs a ship for the last time, and the ship is then no longer referred to as HMCS (Her Majesty's Canadian Ship).

HMCS Preserver has participated in numerous missions and operations, including the United Nations peacekeeping effort in Cyprus and the enforcing of sanctions on the former Yugoslavia, as well as Operations DELIVERANCE, APPOLLO, CARIBBE, among others.

Over the course of HMCS Preserver’s 46 years of service, it is estimated that more than 8,000 sailors have been part of its crew.

Over the course of its lifespan, Preserver has used/delivered over 800,000,000 litres of fuel since commissioning or 800,000 m3. This is equal to filling up a standard car 13.5 million times.

HMCS Preserver is 546 feet long, 76 feet wide, and displaces 22,100 tons. Engine power is 21,000 SHP and the maximum speed is 20 knots. It normally has a complement of 270 officers and non-commissioned members.

The disposal method for HMCS Preserver will be determined in due course, with careful attention paid to environmental, safety, and financial considerations. Disposal options include selling or donating the vessel, or dismantling it for scrap material.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

RCAF CP-140 Aurora Will Track Russian Aircraft Carrier

By: Tim Ripley, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

Russia's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, and a supporting naval task group has set sail for the Mediterranean, state-owned news agency TASS has reported.

"The group consists of the aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov , the battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy , large anti-submarine ships Severomorsk and Vice Admiral Kulakov and support vessels," according to a statement from the Russian Northern Fleet on 15 October, reported by TASS later that day.

The mission of the deployment is "to ensure naval presence in the important areas of the World Ocean", said the Northern Fleet statement. "Special focus will be made on safeguarding security of maritime traffic and other types of maritime economic activity of Russia and also on responding to the new kinds of modern threats such as piracy and international terrorism."
NATO has been developing plans to monitor the progress of Admiral Kuznetsov and its battlegroup as they transit through the North Atlantic and into the Mediterranean. Many of the alliance's naval and air assets participating in Exercise 'Joint Warrior' off the west coast of Scotland are expected to be drawn upon for the surveillance operation, including Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora and US Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft temporarily deployed to RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

UK assets on call for the surveillance operation include a Type 23 frigate and a Type 45 destroyer to shadow the Russian ships, a senior UK military official has told IHS Jane's . Royal Air Force aircraft are also being prepared for the operation. These include a Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic eavesdropping aircraft, a Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport being used in the surface surveillance role and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to shadow any Sukhoi Su-33 or Mikoyan MiG-29K naval strike fighters launched from the Russian carriers.

A UK Royal Navy spokesperson told IHS Jane's on 15 October, "UK and NATO assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different."

Realistic Peacekeeping Options for Canada

By: Sarah Jane Meharg, Canadian Global Affairs Institute

The Liberal government’s Defence Review was called on 6 April 2016. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s review will determine defence capabilities – what the Canadian Armed Forces have and what they need and how these capabilities will be employed to confront conflict and calamity in the environment of global instability. Defence Reviews are significant benchmarks because they set out guiding principles informed by foreign policy within the emerging social, political and economic context of the day.

Historically, such reviews have not aligned with fiscal frameworks to develop fully the grand strategies envisioned in such White Papers. If ends, ways and means – in other words, the fiscal framework – are not in lock-step, then, for the next decade Canada will be out of step in achieving its defence-related foreign policy aims.

The security and defence budget is approximately CAD $20 billion, rising with inflation each year. Canada’s UN peacekeeping financial contribution does not come out of the security and defence budget, but rather directly from Global Affairs Canada, the department responsible for making all assessed contributions to international organizations, of which UN peacekeeping is one. Defence dollars are spent at home and internationally. There is an (irrational) fear held by the government that the defence budget is bloated and there is a move afoot by Canada’s new government to carve out a leaner, more agile military from the already gutted reality of the past decade.

Putting the ongoing procurement debacle aside, defence requires funding specifically aligned with the readiness to deploy.

Peacekeeping missions have expanded to include many peace operation activities that have been empirically proven to reduce conflict recidivism, including: deployments into large, expensive and increasingly complex operations; developing and implementing transition strategies for operations where stability has been achieved; and equipping communities with capacity for long-term peace and stability, evidenced through economic development. UN peacekeeping remains one of the most powerful tools wielded by the international community to manage peaceful outcomes of contemporary armed conflicts, yet, like any other capability development, peacekeeping requires training that is specific to its remit. The tool is only as effective as its contingent troops, police and civilian personnel, and this boils down to deployment experience.

Deployments, among other things, help identify the personnel who cannot manage the stress of operations and who may detract from mission successes. Only with real experience – rather than simulations and exercises – can successes be gained. For example, the United States has innovated its ability to gain relevant and timely deployment experience by running ‘live exercises’ during its humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations (HA/DR) – a type of operation that requires a whole-of-government approach to succeed.

If we are not doing Cyprus peacekeeping anymore, we certainly need to avoid doing the same type of peacekeeper training. Canada can apply innovative ‘live exercising’ to get on-the-job peacekeeping training. Deploying more Canadians on UN missions means that they gain field experience within semi-permissive multidimensional environments and learn the lessons of international cross-cultural leadership, civil-military relations, community-based policing and security, and other innovative techniques that bring about lasting stability. It is recommended that the government deploy 1,000 contingent troops, police and civilian personnel per year to the UN peacekeeping missions that matter to national security, and fall within its defence related foreign policy aims. The cost of this increase would be approximately 10 times the current cost of the deployment of 100 personnel. Deployments should be short term (1 month), medium-term (3 months) and long-term (6 months to 1 year) to yield learning and innovation.12 It is recommended that the government engage existing defence lessons-learned capabilities to assess the experience of troops, police and civilian personnel to increase knowledge acquisition within the relevant government departments and agencies.

When the government of Canada decides to deploy the CAF to an existing or new UN peace operation, it must ensure the following pieces are in place:

  • A clear chain of command exists in theatre and with the CAF in Canada able to make decisive changes if the mission environment deteriorates beyond the remit of the mission’s mandate and Rules of Engagement. 
  • If deploying under a Chapter 7 mandate, Canada must guarantee – or confirm allied protection through – combat heavy weapons support in theatre prior to the deployment of CAF capabilities, such as mobile medical teams, engineering support, civilian experts, police and the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), if its mandate is widened beyond disaster response. 
  • The CAF, Canadian police and other deployed personnel foster relationships with reliable in theatre partners in communications, logistics and airlift in the nascent stages of Canada’s own development in these support capabilities.
  • The rules of engagement (ROE) for each mission13 in which Canadians are deployed are robust to allow for a full spectrum of use of force by the CAF against aggressors, whether aggressor violence is focused on the local civilian population, or the UN peacekeepers themselves. If the ROEs are not robust enough, Canadians should not deploy to the mission. 

Canada’s bid to participate on the UN Security Council for two years starting in 2020 is a committed position to engage fully in multilateral efforts of the international system intended to net enhanced peace, security and stability dividends.

While it is pursuing a seat, it is recommended that the government focus its approach to conflict management by supporting innovative systems and processes that can be duplicated by other states and non-state actors, such as it did with the development of innovations like Results-Based Management,14 the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre15 and Free Balance,16 to name a few. The remit for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) now has an economic lens, evidenced by the transformation away from supporting ‘dead aid’ that causes cyclical state-based welfare in developing states towards investment aid that ends the welfare cycle and creates autonomy in developing states while having direct economic benefits for Canada’s public and private sector contributions to global peace and security. UN peacekeeping contributions should be viewed with a similar lens in that missions can be used to deploy more Canadians to reap the benefits of live whole-of-government exercises. As well, contributions should empower the development of innovations in the conflict management industry to improve the efficacy of peacekeeping while driving Canadian economies. While the Security Council seat would be advantageous for Canada, the government must concomitantly support UN peacekeeping by increasing deployments to missions, as well as drive public and private sector innovations for managing conflicts, all while capturing the relevant lessons to inform the government’s understanding of the changing nature of the conflict environment. It is recommended that the government establish a fiscal framework supporting peacekeeping training, deployments, lessons learned and conflict management innovations that exceeds the existing budget for these existing capabilities by 10%.

This plan will yield the highest dividends for global peace and security which, in turn, underscores Canada’s foreign policy interests. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with allies on UN peace operations permits Canada entry to the decision-making table regarding international governance and collective security.

Dr. Meharg is Canada’s authority on post-conflict reconstruction. She specializes in the cultural, security and economic reconstruction of post-conflict and post-disaster environments. Dr. Meharg teaches peacekeeping and political geography at the Royal Military College of Canada, where she is Adjunct Assistant Professor, and also instructs at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.