Author Topic: Royal Canadian Air Force headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general  (Read 303361 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1000 on: November 17, 2017, 00:44:40 »
13 killed, 27 wounded, 1 missing in action.  Company fought until they ran low on ammo and were able to organize a ceasefire and hightailed it out with French help.

So, pretty much a South African version of 'Blackhawk Down' then?
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1001 on: November 17, 2017, 02:08:02 »
Sounds like to me like out CAST commitment to NATO, how damn rapid can a reaction force parked in Canada be, even if in the best scenario I'd say 12H before they are organized to leave. 8-12 hours flying, a couple hours to get organized on the ground. By the time they can be of any use the situation on the ground might be way out of their ability.

Well, in theory, you're supposed to be looking for signs of escalating tensions and violence, and forward deploy your rapid reaction force before a tense situation turns into a kinetic crisis.

<<Looks at Africa>>

Indicators are that we were supposed to deploy this QRF sometime in the 1950's.

Seriously, though, a Company sized airtransported reaction group based in Canada brings nothing to the table. With an area of operations of "Africa", they won't even be guaranteed to have the correct linguists or immunizations. Hell, would you even have them wearing green or tan?

Now, a Company sized airmobile QRF based in DRC, or Mali, or Darfur, or South Sudan, or Somalia, tied directly to that UN (or AU) operation -- all of those might actually prove useful to the respective force commander. But of course, that would be difficult and hard work, and well as tactically and politically risky. And our current leadership seems to be pretty risk averse.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1002 on: November 17, 2017, 09:28:17 »
Sounds like to me like out CAST commitment to NATO, how damn rapid can a reaction force parked in Canada be, even if in the best scenario I'd say 12H before they are organized to leave. 8-12 hours flying, a couple hours to get organized on the ground. By the time they can be of any use the situation on the ground might be way out of their ability.

It's easy when you do this...I present to you, parentheses...

"Rapid" Reaction Force.


There...easy, peasey!  :nod:

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1003 on: November 17, 2017, 10:03:35 »
In my opinion a rapid reaction force is an organization deployable in maybe a week at the earliest. Perhaps a smaller SOF organization can move a bit quicker, but there are necessary preparations that have to be made before even the O Group moves to the embarkation airfield. We are, after all, not in the "move now, orders later" business. Certain things can be planned in outline, but the devil is in the specific details for a specific mission into the "back of beyond." As one who in my J3 days had to prepare a "no duff" rapid reaction contingency plan that was not actioned, I can attest to that. For example, do you think we maintain 1:50,000 map coverage of the world in the numbers to issue to section level and below? How about diplomatic overflight clearance?

The one occasion that our old UN Standby Battalion deployed that I recall was to Cyprus in 1964. (I was no more than a spectator from my vantage point in the bar of the Brownfield Officers' Mess in Gagetown.) It was a fairly large force based on 1 R22R with the RCD Recce Sqn attached, and while most of the F echelon of the battalion along with a RCD troop deployed by air, most of the vehicles and stores and the squadron (-) sailed on HMCS Bonaventure. It took the better part of a month to complete the deployment and that was to a first world destination not that far away.

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1004 on: November 17, 2017, 10:23:29 »
In my opinion a rapid reaction force is an organization deployable in maybe a week at the earliest. Perhaps a smaller SOF organization can move a bit quicker, but there are necessary preparations that have to be made before even the O Group moves to the embarkation airfield. We are, after all, not in the "move now, orders later" business. Certain things can be planned in outline, but the devil is in the specific details for a specific mission into the "back of beyond." As one who in my J3 days had to prepare a "no duff" rapid reaction contingency plan that was not actioned, I can attest to that. For example, do you think we maintain 1:50,000 map coverage of the world in the numbers to issue to section level and below? How about diplomatic overflight clearance?

The one occasion that our old UN Standby Battalion deployed that I recall was to Cyprus in 1964. (I was no more than a spectator from my vantage point in the bar of the Brownfield Officers' Mess in Gagetown.) It was a fairly large force based on 1 R22R with the RCD Recce Sqn attached, and while most of the F echelon of the battalion along with a RCD troop deployed by air, most of the vehicles and stores and the squadron (-) sailed on HMCS Bonaventure. It took the better part of a month to complete the deployment and that was to a first world destination not that far away.

I seem to recall it took us in 2RCR about a week and a half to get a company group and strap hangers /w vehicles to Port au Prince for OP HALO as the NEO force (someone can correct me if I'm wrong)...there were JTF2 folks there earlier of course.

MM
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I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1005 on: November 17, 2017, 10:27:42 »
Quite right Old Sweat.

The old UN Stand-by Batallion was for "rapid" deployment only after an actual UN response to a crisis had been agreed by all parties. It was the fact that it was identified in advance and did some of the pre-deployment training and equipment pack up to be ready to go much faster than a scratch force that made it "stand-by".

I think, however, that the people are taking from the Liberals here that their proposed "Rapid Reaction Force" is like a backup to troops already on the ground that need immediate reinforcement in the middle of an action. I don't think that's what they have in mind - I think they had in mind something akin to the old Stand-by Battalion. And that is the reason the UN and the rest of our allies  are less than impressed. They understand they are really being told: "Here, I'll have some of my people set aside here in Canada for the next time something comes up." I am sure they understand that it would mean Canada may or may not go to the next one if they don't like the risks of the "next one" when it does come up.

It would have been better for them to follow the advice of Lew MacKenzie (there is no peace to keep in the UN ops in Africa, which suffers from fratricide/tribal/religious fighting - not inter-states wars - and Canada does not have any specific interests there to defend, so don't go) but with the honesty to admit it publicly and explain to Canadians why they will not , in the end, fulfill that promise they made (in their ignorance).

Instead they chose, yet again, to come up with a cockamamie plan to sound/look like they are doing something without actually doing it, but be able to lure their real prey (the even less educated into military/world affairs Liberal/NDP electors) into believing the lie that they kept their promise during next election.

Wimps!   

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1006 on: November 17, 2017, 11:50:46 »
Based on the PM's performance at the UN conference in Vancouver, Atlantis is likely to be elected to the Security Council before Canada.

 :sarcasm:

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1007 on: November 17, 2017, 11:52:32 »
Based on the PM's performance at the UN conference in Vancouver, Atlantis is likely to be elected to the Security Council before Canada.

 :sarcasm:

I'd vote for them.

MM
MM

Remember the basics of Medicine - "Pink is GOOD, Blue is BAD, Air goes in AND out, Blood Goes Round and Round"

I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1008 on: November 17, 2017, 12:05:41 »
I'd have to see Atlantis's number of female peacekeepers and how many gender advisors they're willing to deploy before they get my vote.
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1009 on: November 17, 2017, 12:11:47 »
So, pretty much a South African version of 'Blackhawk Down' then?
I was thinking Ia Drang, but Mogadishu works too.   :not-again:
Sadly amazed at people cheering on the spread of kakistocracy.   :not-again:

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1010 on: November 17, 2017, 13:43:06 »
Former CDS Gen. Jean de Chastelain, in letter to Globe and Mail, takes on the Great Canadian Peacekeeping Myth:

Quote
Re PM Defends Canada's Peacekeeping Plan (Nov. 16 [ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-offers-equipment-and-soldiers-for-peacekeeping-no-decision-on-where/article36985352/] ): Canada's "traditional military role" is not peacekeeping, it's war-fighting. The role of peacekeeping involved a relatively small percentage of Canada's armed forces from the mid-1950s through to the end of the 1980s, a time when Canada maintained a mechanized infantry brigade group and an air force fighter division in Europe, and naval forces in the North Atlantic in an anti-submarine role, all armed and prepared to fight a high intensity battle against potential aggressors.

Because these troops were professionally trained for war, they were highly effective in the decidedly secondary role of peacekeeping, a good thing when peacekeeping morphed into a much different task during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Politicians, of course, favour peacekeeping as a role for the forces, as the costs are significantly less than the ever-more expensive weaponry that forces need if they are to play an effective part in maintaining peace in the world.

Some Canadians still get misty-eyed over the concept of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and police officers wearing blue or orange berets and standing bravely between warring sides while diplomats and politicians work out peace agreements.

Canadians are rightly proud of what our armed forces have achieved, in war and in peacekeeping, but they shouldn't be misled as to what the traditional role of the military is and always has been.

John de Chastelain, chief of the defence staff (1989-93, 1994-95); Ottawa
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/letters/nov-17-peace-kept-and-not-plus-other-letters-to-the-editor/article37008051/

Plus an earlier post:

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

It was not that peacekeeping myth so fondly mis-remembered by so many so ignorant of our past...
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/mark-collins-not-remembering-canadas-real-post-ww-ii-military-history/

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1011 on: December 08, 2017, 11:59:40 »
Quote
At least 14 peacekeepers killed and 40 hurt in Congo attack

Associated Press
8 DECEMBER 2017 • 3:53PM

Rebels attacked a United Nations peacekeeping base in eastern Congo, killing at least 14 peacekeepers and wounding 40 others in the worst violence against the mission in this Central African country in years.

Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq in New York said the peacekeepers were mainly from Tanzania, and that at least five Congolese soldiers also were killed in the assault blamed on one of the region's deadliest rebel groups.

"It's a very huge attack, certainly the worst in recent memory," Haq said.

The peacekeeping base is located about 45 kilometres (27 miles) from the town of Beni, which has been repeatedly hit by rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group.

The base is home to the peacekeeping mission's rapid intervention force, which has a rare mandate to go on the offensive, according to Radio Okapi, which is backed by the US mission.

The radio station, citing military sources, said fighting lasted four hours.

Nearly 300 peacekeepers have been killed since the UN mission arrived in 1999, according to UN peacekeeping data.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/08/least-14-peacekeepers-killed-40-hurt-congo-attack/

And how many people have died in the Congo since 1960 while wearing Blue Berets?
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Offline AbrahamL

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1012 on: December 18, 2017, 13:47:13 »
Can't imagine that looking those people

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1013 on: December 18, 2017, 13:59:17 »
And how many people have died in the Congo since 1960 while wearing Blue Berets?
About 550. Of course, the last 60 years have been much tougher on the Congolese.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1014 on: December 18, 2017, 15:18:59 »
About 550. Of course, the last 60 years have been much tougher on the Congolese.

The last 60 years have been tough on the Congolese?

Or the Congolese have been tough on the Congolese?

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jan/20/stone-age-massacre-offers-earliest-evidence-human-warfare-kenya
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1015 on: December 18, 2017, 15:55:13 »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1016 on: December 18, 2017, 16:42:40 »
Congo ~ there's now two or three of 'em ~ was a socio-economic and political disaster zone in 1960 when the Belgians turned tail and fled in the face of a black revolt. If memory serves (I'm just too damned lazy to Google old, painful memories) there were 18 black people in Congo with university degrees when the Belgians left ... the Church did a great job, actually, and some of those nuns and priests were probably saints, but they only provided an elementary education, up to about a Belgian 8th grade standard ... maybe.

The Congolese Army was, to be charitable, a shambles ... but the civil government made it look pretty good.

Union Minière du Haut-Katanga, the big HUGE, corrupt and brutal Belgian mining conglomerate had its own mercenary army (a few, a small handful of them were quite good, most were white trash of the worst sort, afraid of their own shadows) and its own puppet government.

The Congolese people had a whole hockey sock full of legitimate grievances ... Belgium ran way, with most of the money and left a few priests and nuns to say prayers. The Army revolted ... some of the atrocities don't bear thinking about. Brigadier (later General) Jacques Dextraze oragnized and, personally, led raids into Kantaga province to rescue hostages. RCCS Colonel "Buster" Stethem comandeered a UN or Red Cross (I cannot remember which) light aircraft and took a box of 36 grenades and conducted a "bombing mission' to break up one attack on a civilian (nuns) run relief camp not far from Leopoldville. The UN administration was a complete farce ... inept officials and the "lord high secretariat" in new York interfering in minor, local decisions and the UN military command ranged from OK, sometimes, to, too often, a nightmare.

When the UN left, mid-1960s, they left the place worse than they found it and no one - not Belgium, certainly, not the USA, not the USSR and not the fledgling EEC, gave a damn because even though Congo is resource rich, Union Minière had survived and was selling whatever Congo had to whoever had cash money.

Don't blame the Congolese ... they never had a chance.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1017 on: December 18, 2017, 18:23:35 »
....
Don't blame the Congolese ... they never had a chance.

Seen. 

And thanks for the canned history E.R.

 :)
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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1018 on: December 18, 2017, 19:14:57 »
Congo ~ there's now two or three of 'em ~ was a socio-economic and political disaster zone in 1960 when the Belgians turned tail and fled in the face of a black revolt. If memory serves (I'm just too damned lazy to Google old, painful memories) there were 18 black people in Congo with university degrees when the Belgians left ... the Church did a great job, actually, and some of those nuns and priests were probably saints, but they only provided an elementary education, up to about a Belgian 8th grade standard ... maybe.

The Congolese Army was, to be charitable, a shambles ... but the civil government made it look pretty good.

Union Minière du Haut-Katanga, the big HUGE, corrupt and brutal Belgian mining conglomerate had its own mercenary army (a few, a small handful of them were quite good, most were white trash of the worst sort, afraid of their own shadows) and its own puppet government.

The Congolese people had a whole hockey sock full of legitimate grievances ... Belgium ran way, with most of the money and left a few priests and nuns to say prayers. The Army revolted ... some of the atrocities don't bear thinking about. Brigadier (later General) Jacques Dextraze oragnized and, personally, led raids into Kantaga province to rescue hostages. RCCS Colonel "Buster" Stethem comandeered a UN or Red Cross (I cannot remember which) light aircraft and took a box of 36 grenades and conducted a "bombing mission' to break up one attack on a civilian (nuns) run relief camp not far from Leopoldville. The UN administration was a complete farce ... inept officials and the "lord high secretariat" in new York interfering in minor, local decisions and the UN military command ranged from OK, sometimes, to, too often, a nightmare.

When the UN left, mid-1960s, they left the place worse than they found it and no one - not Belgium, certainly, not the USA, not the USSR and not the fledgling EEC, gave a damn because even though Congo is resource rich, Union Minière had survived and was selling whatever Congo had to whoever had cash money.

Don't blame the Congolese ... they never had a chance.

Just re-reading "The Siege of Jadotville" right now...in fact, at the part where the country went to rat snot and the ONUC were trying to move in.  I think the figure quoted for university degrees in the book was about 25 - not a huge difference from your quote.  All I can say is a feel sorry for those that ended up there, as it was a typical UN shytestorm that kind of reminded me of things that went wrong with UNPROFOR in the 90's...and definitely feel sorry for A/35 for basically being bent over the barrel by their own army upon return (kinda like the Medak Pocket being shuffled under the carpet) for what they accomplished.  Glad I never went there for the Bungle in the Jungle - I was supposed to go to Goma, on the then Zaire side of the line.

MM

MM

Remember the basics of Medicine - "Pink is GOOD, Blue is BAD, Air goes in AND out, Blood Goes Round and Round"

I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1019 on: December 18, 2017, 19:30:47 »
As far as I know ONUC was the only UN "peacekeeping" mission that had fighter planes, Swedish J-29 "Tunnan":

Quote

http://www.x-plane.org/home/urf/aviation/text/29kongo.htm

Love that plane.

Mark
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1020 on: December 20, 2017, 00:38:36 »
Why send government troops when the private sector has done such a fine job in the Congo?

Guns for Hire:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTAX4IyRqrA

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1021 on: December 20, 2017, 10:00:53 »
Why send government troops when the private sector has done such a fine job in the Congo?

Guns for Hire:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTAX4IyRqrA



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhRRWwH3Fro
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Re: Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
« Reply #1022 on: December 20, 2017, 15:56:16 »
Good piece by Howard Coombs of RMC at CGAI--excerpts:
Quote
The Harsh Reality: Canada and 21st Century Peacekeeping

...For many Canadians, Trudeau’s aspirational catchphrase “We’re back!” led to a belief that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) would take a rejuvenated and robust role in UN operations. This would include the deployment of combat units in peacekeeping roles to conflict regions, like the Central African Republic and Mali. However, in the last few months this political rhetoric has lessened. The recent 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference, held in Vancouver, resulted in an apparent volte-face to these previous ambitious promises. Despite that, one can argue that the assurances which have emerged as a result of this conference may be more pragmatic and versed in the nuances of domestic realpolitik than many would normally attribute to the current Liberal government. However, while this approach may resonate with a national audience, it is seemingly at the expense of meaningful contributions to international peace and security.

...If Canada wishes to be taken seriously internationally and within the UN, she will have to up the ante. Only by providing the necessary military forces or capabilities, coupled with supporting non-military activities needed to tangibly resolve the dilemmas that war-torn regions pose, will Canada be perceived as a team member, instead of a bystander spectating from the sidelines...

Howard G. Coombs is an assistant professor and associate chair, war studies, at the Royal Military College of Canada, in Kingston, Ontario. [ex-Army, more here https://www.rmcc-cmrc.ca/en/history/howard-g-coombs
http://www.cgai.ca/the_harsh_reality_canada_and_21st_century_peacekeeping

Mark
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While not Africa, Don Martin has an observation on the government's approach to peacekeeping:

Waving the white flag on Canada as a middle military power

Quote
Colombia is a country where two civil-warring factions have disarmed and declared a peaceful end to a 50-year conflict. That means it’s the peacekeeping equivalent of monitoring a Grade four class in the playground during recess.

Yet inexplicably Canada dithered, pondering the potential danger of the mission until the spots were filled by other countries which didn’t consider the world’s safest peacekeeping assignment too risky to join.
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Offline pbi

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While not Africa, Don Martin has an observation on the government's approach to peacekeeping:

Waving the white flag on Canada as a middle military power

Not a completely accurate assessment. I was in Colombia last fall for some work with regional armed forces. I got to know a Colombian Arty Col quite well, and we discussed the history and current situation at length. He had extensive experience in COIN ops, both in the "traditional" gunner role but also "dismounted" as infantry. While FARC has mostly decided to behave (largely because its leadership got jolly good government positions), not all of that movement has surrendered. And, besides FARC, there is also a lesser known Marxist insurgency: ELN, who have not given up, either.

During the time we were there, the Colombian Army was actively engaged in COIN ops, and we witnessed the military funeral of a Sgt killed in one of the ops.

As well, he told me that they face two other threats: Venezuela (Colombia keeps at least one mech bde on that border), and constant efforts from Cuba to destabilize the region.

So, it isn't necessarily as peaceful as it may seem.
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