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Infanteer said:4. Canada doesn't need a "Prevention Corps" - we already have one; the CF. The PRT represents that fusion of government officials capable of operating in austere environments (or "JIMP capable forces operating in a WoG approach" for the buzzword groupies). I haven't been part of a PRT, but I have worked at arms length with one, and they seem to be on the right road to getting the OGAs involved.
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Journeyman said:As mentioned, the CF is already a standing "Prevention Corps." So what's lacking, and what he's clearly smart enough, along with his W2I cohorts not to bring up, is the price-tag associated with the actual implementation of their pie-in-the-sky recommendations.
Perhaps it’s the use of the word “corps” in the report’s recommendation that generates such responses, but my take on the proposed “Prevention Corps” (besides it being a cheesy name) is that its function is nowhere similar to the capability offered by the CF. While the PRTs may function well in Afghanistan, they are not there in a “preventive” or “fact-finding“ role as proposed in the report, The PRTs are an “after the fact” operation, not a diplomatic mission.
From the W2I report. (italics are as per the report, all other highlighting mine)
2.3 BUILDING CAPACITY
A state’s capacity for the prevention of mass atrocities is comprised of its civilian and military capabilities. A shortage of either civilian or military capacity diminishes the political will for action. Civilian capacity consists of non-military measures available to a government to encourage positive state behavior through diplomacy, economic incentives, or other inducements. Civilian capacity can also thwart negative state behavior through punitive measures such as travel and study bans, economic sanctions, and the severing of diplomatic ties. However, military capacity is also essential. It enables decision makers to complement soft power options with credible threats of hard power actions. In the absence of civilian capacity, governments are only left with two options: doing nothing or applying force hastily. A state possessing soft power has the credibility, legitimacy, and influence to affect international decisions without having to resort to the use of force.
. . .
part two: Policy Recommendations
W2I recommends that the Government of Canada establish a Canadian Prevention Corps
Resources and leadership are needed to operationalize civilian capacity and ensure that Canada contributes to international peace and security. The creation of a multidisciplinary civilian corps focused on preventing mass atrocities would represent a forward looking shift in Canadian policy.
Canada has a history of leadership on key international initiatives aimed at preventing mass atrocities and indiscriminate loss of civilian lives, including the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines, the R2P report, and the Rome Treaty authorizing the creation of the International Criminal Court. While these Canadian-led initiatives are important, it is striking that so little has been done to increase Canada’s operational capacity to enable leadership in the prevention of mass atrocities.
“We have this huge ship of state now, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, that doesn’t turn fast enough whereas tiny countries like Norway, Finland, and Denmark have little ships adapting or reacting very quickly to crises. We need to have teams of talent available to seize a crisis and make it our own, and have the will and the physical and monetary resources to do it. But you need top people, and where are those? Those top people are usually taken by top jobs and cannot be freed.”
– Raymond Chrétien, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.
Canada can make a significant contribution to global security by improving its permanent, standby capacity for preventive action. A Canadian Prevention Corps would enable the Government of Canada to deploy a team of dedicated civil servants from anywhere in the government. The U.S. has moved in this direction with the creation of a Civilian Response Corps to support stabilization missions. The Canadian Prevention Corps would provide a critical mass of multidisciplinary experts to work with high-level special envoys for preventive diplomacy and fact-finding missions. The corps should be civilian-led and operate under the aegis of the proposed International Security Minister; it should be drawn from the ranks of DFAIT, CIDA, Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Finance Canada, Justice Canada, Elections Canada, and the Department of National Defence. These experts would apply to join the corps on a full-time basis from their respective departments. The corps should fall under
the responsibility of the proposed Coordinating Office for the Prevention of Mass Atrocities.
While I was far down the food chain in 1994 with regards to operations in Rwanda and thus have no first hand knowledge of the poor use of intelligence in the (government’s) decision making process, there were obvious gaps in the information available to us as we (very quickly) prepped and deployed OP PASSAGE.
It’s correcting this malfunction that I see as the primary role of any Prevention Corps. While (members of) the CF are trained, equipped and willing to go into austere and dangerous regions to perform almost any task, there are certain limitations in the skill sets available in uniform. Sometimes just wearing a uniform is a hindrance when dealing with certain individuals. As (somewhat) noted lately in the “Africa” thread with regards to the “bungle in the jungle”, the appreciation was situated by the PM when he sent the army commander to Africa. Similarly, if all “prevention” related activities were assumed to be the responsibilty of DND/CF then it almost automatically supposes that any solution has to have a military component (besides the waiting in the wings with a stick element that is necessary if a soft approach is to have any credibility).
One of the points that this report makes very clear was the inability or reluctance of individual government ministers, departments or agencies to accept ownership of the developing situation in Rwanda. Though there is much in the report to which I can take exception, a central authority/agency (if not a separate ministry) either within DFAIT (maybe not the best) or answering to the PCO (probably better) could be the answer. Just as the government has a military (with a specialist military staff) which can develop military approaches and solutions to an international problem, it makes sense to also have a specialist staff that can develop non-military approaches and solutions to the same problem. While it should naturally be expected that such advice would be forthcoming from appropriate DFAIT officials, it appears to not always be so.