Author Topic: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M  (Read 21367 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« on: February 02, 2016, 18:55:13 »
Quote
....For the last decade, he says, the army has specialized in counter-insurgency warfare because of the combat mission in Kandahar and other skill sets — once second nature to Canadian training — were relegated to the back burner.

Dorn says the complexities of modern peace operations require in-depth training and education, on subjects including the procedures, capabilities and limitations of the United Nations.

He says Canada is currently far behind other nations in its readiness to support the United Nations and train for modern peacekeeping.

“Special skills, separate from those learned in Afghanistan and warfare training, would need to be (re)learned, including skills in negotiation, conflict management and resolution, as well as an understanding of UN procedures and past peacekeeping missions,” said the report.

“Particularly important is learning effective co-operation with the non-military components of modern peacekeeping operations, including police, civil affairs personnel and humanitarians, as well as UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the local actors engaged in building a viable peace.”

The focus of training at both the Canadian Forces Command College in Toronto and the army staff college in Kingston, Ont., is on “taking part in ‘alliance’ or NATO-style operations,” Dorn concluded....

Is it just me or does this report seem like a slap in the face to the OMLT, POMLT, etc folks who worked with, and trained, Afghan authorities during OPs ATHENA and ATTENTION?  I'm pretty sure we did some negotiation, conflict management and resolution there as well.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com//news/national/military-ill-prepared-for-peacekeeping-report/article28505963/?cmpid=rss1&click=sf_globefb
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2016, 18:59:47 »
I thought this comment was to the point:

"How can you be ill prepared for a vague activity that is poorly thought out and and ill defined by politicians trying to perform brain surgery with an axe?

The problem isn't our soldiers...it's the politicians who are writing the rules."
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 19:03:43 »
A properly trained, equipped and disciplined first world army can peacekeep. An army equipped and trained to peacekeep cannot ever fight a war, or use force to achieve political goals in a region.

Walter Dorn is an idiot.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 19:09:09 »
A properly trained, equipped and disciplined first world army can peacekeep. An army equipped and trained to peacekeep cannot ever fight a war, or use force to achieve political goals in a region.

Walter Dorn is an idiot.

Even Lester B. Pearson knew that.
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Offline FSTO

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 19:21:50 »
Listening to the Liberal Talking Points regarding the bombing campaign, I think there is a ready audience inhabiting the Langivan Block. I think our very able Defence Minister is on Corrigidor Island right now. He is on his own and the worst thing is that there is no support on the horizon at all.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 19:33:00 »
Ill prepared compared to who? The countries whose soldiers are being accused of trading candy for sexual favours.  These people really don't have any idea who is doing blue-hat duties many times now.
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2016, 20:53:39 »
Ill prepared compared to who? The countries whose soldiers are being accused of trading candy for sexual favours.  These people really don't have any idea who is doing blue-hat duties many times now.

When I was in Croatia in 93 rumors that certain contingents were selling fuel to the warring factions. Was it true? I don't know for sure.
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2016, 21:14:12 »
A properly trained, equipped and disciplined first world army can peacekeep. An army equipped and trained to peacekeep cannot ever fight a war, or use force to achieve political goals in a region.
Have to agree - while cops do VITAL work, you don't send cops as your first choice up against an army in a firefight.

Just so we're discussing more than just a reporter's read of the report (if it was read in its entirety), attached find at least the executive summary of the report in question - full report (72 page PDF) downloadable here.
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2016, 21:48:20 »
Published by the CCPA and the 'hating all things military' Rideau Institute, a publication by a guy whose academic background provides absolutely no justification to his 'expertise' on the topic (Dorn's Doctorate is in Chemistry), but who's benefitted repeatedly from the UN cash cow.

Rehashing the same old "war bad, UN money er, peacekeeping good."    Groundhog day indeed.   :boring:   
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2016, 21:58:57 »
Dorn insists we strive to achieve the same standard of training as these fine examples of military excellence (number of peacekeepers deployed):

Quote
Bangladesh   9432
Ethiopia   8309
India           7794
Pakistan   7533

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2016, 22:12:27 »
Quote
“Special skills, separate from those learned in Afghanistan and warfare training, would need to be (re)learned, including skills in negotiation, conflict management and resolution, as well as an understanding of UN procedures and past peacekeeping missions,” said the report.

“Particularly important is learning effective co-operation with the non-military components of modern peacekeeping operations, including police, civil affairs personnel and humanitarians, as well as UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the local actors engaged in building a viable peace.”

Sounds like a job opportunity there, seeing as how the soldiery isn't up to the task.  Maybe we should hire a few and train them so they are fit for purpose.

We could call them diplomats.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2016, 09:02:24 »
... who's benefitted repeatedly from the UN cash cow ...
I DID notice an awful lot of focus on all the UN-ish courses/programs that should be run - by who, one wonders?
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Offline MCG

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2016, 09:20:10 »
Michael Den Tandt makes a helpful counterpoint.  I prefer to keep out ot the hair splitting on "peacekeeping" vs "peacemaking",  but I think it is a distinction that is probably useful when speaking to the average Canadian.

Quote
Peacekeeping is fine, but peace-building is essential — and it works
Michael Den Tandt
The National Post
02 Feb 2016

Are Canadian soldiers, following a decade of militaristic tub-thumping by the former Conservative government, inordinately prepared for war, at the expense of peacekeeping and diplomacy?
 
Judging from a new study done for a pair of left-leaning Ottawa think tanks, the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, you might assume so. The paper, by Royal Military College professor and peacekeeping specialist Walter Dorn, bears the stamp of academic authority. It is also, in one of its central thrusts, wrong.
 
Here’s the paragraph that leaps out: “The 2006–11 combat mission in Kandahar, Afghanistan, certainly gave CAF personnel valuable experience in combat and counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. While there are similarities between these types of missions and international peace operations, there are also fundamental differences in the training, preparation and practice of peacekeeping deployments.
 
“War-fighting and COIN are enemy-centric, usually non-consensual missions that primarily involve offensive tactics, whereas peacekeeping is based on a trinity of alternative principles: consent of main conflicting parties, impartiality and the defensive use of force.”

In other words, the Afghan mission was all about destroying the enemy — killing the “detestable murderers and scumbags” of the Taliban, as former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier once put it, rather than trying to help the Afghans rebuild their war-torn, barren, desperately impoverished country.
 
It’s yet another restatement of the Liberal narrative that emerged suddenly and fully-formed in the spring of 2006, coinciding miraculously with the accession of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to power.
 
Liberal Jean Chretien had first sent Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan in 2002; Liberal Paul Martin had sent them in greater numbers beginning in 2005 and continuing in early 2006. That mission was framed from its inception as a combination of humanitarian aid, diplomacy and force protection, along with so-called “kinetic operations,” the purpose of which was to destroy the enemy.
 
None of this changed when the new government took over.
 
Indeed, when I went to Afghanistan in the fall of 2007 — my second trip to the country — I found the Canadian military even more focused on reconstruction than it had been the previous year. We visited de-mining and police training projects near Kabul and a Provincial Reconstruction Team outpost in Kandahar City, Camp Nathan Smith, that had grown substantially since my first trip.
 
Canadian soldiers stationed at the PRT supported local schools and engineering projects, operated “presence patrols” into the surrounding countryside, arranged meetings and held teas with local elders.
 
All the Canadian military engagement I saw in Afghanistan was primarily defensive in nature. In other words, the soldiers and their armaments were there to protect and support Canadian whole-of-government efforts to help local people.
 
There were certainly also pure combat operations, run by special forces and other units, that I didn’t see. But there was a great deal of diplomacy and “peace-building.” It just didn’t draw a lot of attention back home.
 
Indeed, by 2007, the CF seemed almost desperate to draw attention to their reconstruction efforts. Presumably, this had something to do with the fact that, back in Ottawa, the political debate was all about combat casualties and detainee torture.
 
I had numerous conversations with front-line soldiers in those years who were deeply frustrated by the tenor of debate in Canada which they deemed, to a person, to be shallow and misleading.

They weren’t wrong. Canadian soldiers — sergeants primarily, not the officers, who were more circumspect — also told me numerous times how deeply relieved they were that the horribly failed “peacekeeping” era of the 1990s — Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia — was a thing of the past.
 
In 2010, I travelled with Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team to Haiti in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure and killed several hundred thousand people. The D.A.R.T. was drawn from units across Canada, and many of its members had by then served in Afghanistan. Somehow, the demands of doing humanitarian relief in a chaotic and diplomatically fraught environment were not beyond them. Indeed they seemed to me to be exceptionally good at their jobs.
 
Would Canada’s military benefit from a re-start of some of the peacekeeping courses that fell by the wayside during the Harper years? Probably they would. Additional training, for whatever function, is worthwhile — and it was quite clear, in the aftermath of the Somalia debacle in 1993, that the Airborne Regiment’s spec-ops combat training had not prepared it adequately for the humanitarian complexities of that mission. 
 
But let’s not forget why we have armed forces to begin with.
 
Following 9/11 and especially because of the Afghan war, the Canadian military was transformed from a chronically bureaucratized, under-gunned, under-resourced organization into a force capable of fighting a so-called three-block war – defence, diplomacy and development in the space of three city blocks, within a failed state.
 
That transformation was hard-won and long overdue.
 
It should not be set aside now simply because we have a new government intent on playing up its swords-into-ploughshares credentials.
   
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/michael-den-tandt-peacekeeping-is-fine-but-peace-building-is-essential-and-it-works

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2016, 09:30:43 »
A few points:

First, am I the only one who thinks that someone who works with the CCPA or the Rideau Institute should be barred (or fired) from teaching at Staff College?

Second, if the JT government wants to get back into the peacekeeping "business" (professor Dorn's own word - as if it was a commercial venture), the CAF could provide  small cadre of trainers and train a group of young Canadians in military bed making, basic platoon drill without arms, uniform pressing and how to look good in dress uniform, followed by half a day of training and range training on the C7 (no scope - too military looking) to get them scared of their own weapons, followed by 11 weeks of training in "Schoolyard Bullying De-escalation theory", "Courtroom Conflict Resolution", "Mediating the Commercial Conflict", and "Negotiation the Trump way: The Art of the Deal". then they would be ready for Peacekeeping deployment.

We could call this Youth Corp the "C.Y.S.I.S", for Canadian Youth for Self Inflicted Suicide.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2016, 09:49:51 »
First, am I the only one who thinks that someone who works with the CCPA or the Rideau Institute should be barred (or fired) from teaching at Staff College?
For clarity, he doesn't work for them, but his points of view are very amenable to theirs, which means he's often published/cited by them.

As for barring him from Staff College work....it would be an interesting call.  It's much the same as the folks here who repetitively post their same left-wing drivel ...and who get beat-up immediately by those posting their self-same right-wing drivel -- should both ends of the political spectrum be banned? Sure, it would probably make for better discussion amongst those remaining, but in the end I think discussion is better informed by all opinions; some will just get filtered out sooner than others.

As for CFC in particular, it may actually be a good thing having a kumbaya cheerleader differing point of view -- some students may have become isolated from more broad reading and exposure to other considerations; for some topics, like the UN, peacekeeping, arms control/disarmament, etc, someone like Dorn is beneficial.


We just accept that we're not likely to cross many paths in our social circles.  ;)
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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2016, 09:50:26 »
A few points:

First, am I the only one who thinks that someone who works with the CCPA or the Rideau Institute should be barred (or fired) from teaching at Staff College?

Hopefully you are.

If Staff College becomes nothing but a self-reinforcing echo chamber, where alternatives are not presented or discussed, where intellectual monoculture rules the day, where students absorb by rote Truth (with a Capital T) then it is a failure as an institution.

Do I agree with Dr Dorn?  No. But I would much rather have the leaders of the CAF exposed to such viewpoints so they can review, assess, and come to their own conclusions.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2016, 10:45:50 »
I may not have expressed myself correctly here, and for that I apologize.

My point is not that point of views like Dr. Dorn should not be expressed at various military advanced teaching institutions. They should, but in my view, as visiting lecturers in seminars within the course curriculum, and not as faculty.

The reason for not having them as faculty is the standard labour rule against conflict of interest. How can you be someone basically advocating the opposite to what the institution you work for stands for itself? An analogy would be: As a country, would you employ as one of your diplomats someone who is associated and an exponent of the concept that countries should be abolished and a single world dominion established? In training of your diplomats, exposing them to such a view so they know it and learn how to deal with it is appropriate, but not employment as one of your diplomats. That's all I was saying. 

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 11:32:36 »
I think it's OK, maybe even more than just OK in academe and in the media. It's like when Conrad Black hired Linda McQuaig to write for the (then newly founded) National Post. Lord Black intended it to be a conservative voice in what he saw as a sea of Liberal and NDP opinion, but he also knew he wanted (and needed) a "loony left" voice to counter and "balance" his publisher's and editors' conservative biases. I think some universities hire some professors for similar reasons ~ to have several points of view represented, from outright Marxists to slavish adherents to the Austrian and Ayn Rand schools of thought.

One has to hope that readers and students, especially Staff College level students ~ essentially people doing or able to do graduate degree level thinking ~ can sort out the differences.
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Offline itsmylocker

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2016, 12:47:27 »
The reason for not having them as faculty is the standard labour rule against conflict of interest. How can you be someone basically advocating the opposite to what the institution you work for stands for itself? An analogy would be: As a country, would you employ as one of your diplomats someone who is associated and an exponent of the concept that countries should be abolished and a single world dominion established? In training of your diplomats, exposing them to such a view so they know it and learn how to deal with it is appropriate, but not employment as one of your diplomats. That's all I was saying.

I mean, in defense of Dorn, and to counter your point a bit, "the institution" he works for takes direction from the federal government. The institution he works for stands for whatever the government says it does... If the federal government says that peacekeeping is back, that's kind of the way it breaks - even if it isn't an optimal outcome.

As an aside, I'm currently writing a thesis on the CF, COIN and how stupid a return to the peacekeeping paradigm is, so this report has provided me with 72 pages of stuff to criticize. I'm quite happy.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2016, 13:00:19 »
I think some universities hire some professors for similar reasons ~ to have several points of view represented, from outright Marxists to slavish adherents to the Austrian and Ayn Rand schools of thought.
Not that I've seen too often -- there appears to be a strong perception of 'hire only those like us.' 

Those Canadian universities that have any appreciable military programs are based on receiving funding via the Security and Defence Forum; the other faculty don't like those 'knuckle-dragging war-mongers,' but it brings in money from the equally-evil, oppressive government.
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2016, 13:34:43 »
I may not have expressed myself correctly here, and for that I apologize.

My point is not that point of views like Dr. Dorn should not be expressed at various military advanced teaching institutions. They should, but in my view, as visiting lecturers in seminars within the course curriculum, and not as faculty.

The reason for not having them as faculty is the standard labour rule against conflict of interest. How can you be someone basically advocating the opposite to what the institution you work for stands for itself? An analogy would be: As a country, would you employ as one of your diplomats someone who is associated and an exponent of the concept that countries should be abolished and a single world dominion established? In training of your diplomats, exposing them to such a view so they know it and learn how to deal with it is appropriate, but not employment as one of your diplomats. That's all I was saying.

Well, we let the Bloc run as a party and sit in the HoC.  Not to mention their provincial counterparts that are working to undermine the country.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2016, 14:58:43 »
Having read that article, I was kind of not sure the word, same reaction I had to seeing my five year old putting his tobbogan on top of the slide when it was covered in ice and getting ready to use it as a snow board. Not a good idea, not very well thought out or any real thought at all.

Kind of like Mr Dorn's thoughts on "peacekeeping". Or if he is CBCs latest comedian, than woops, I misunderstood the context of the article.

Progression not regression

I was also very disheartened by the comments attached to that article 
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Offline ArmyDoc

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2016, 17:40:08 »
"Over the past decade, Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have experienced a major decline in training and education for peacekeeping operations (PKOs), also known as peace support operations (PSOs) or simply peace operations. "

An interesting melange of terminology, whereby Prof. Dorn equates PKO = PSO = peace. Certainly in my mind these are three distinct items, and the third (peace) can result from winning at war-fighting.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2016, 19:12:17 »
For a staff college professor, he seems to have never heard of the Three-Block-War concept that I was taught as a young Pte/Cpl in the early 2000s.

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Re: Military Ill-prepared for Peacekeeping - G&M
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2016, 19:22:26 »
For a staff college professor, he seems to have never heard of the Three-Block-War concept that I was taught as a young Pte/Cpl in the early 2000s.

Google "Dorn Three Block War"

http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol10/no1/07-dornvarey-eng.asp
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