|Mission possible: New role for the CF|
The Conservative government has pledged to continue sending 1,000 military trainers to assist the Afghan National Army until at least 2014, but the reality is that there is only four months left in
After five years in the public spotlight and being at the top of the government’s priority list for equipment purchases, many of the top brass believe the military needs to find a new viable and vital role to maintain its re-born prestige.
The current commanders remember all too well the post-Cold War era that chief of defence staff Rick Hillier dubbed the “Decade of Darkness.” Despite taking on a multitude of peacekeeping missions in the ‘90s—such as the former
At one point, the army was so short of combat clothing they had to take out ads in base newspapers asking non-combat personnel to donate their old uniforms in order to outfit battle groups for deployment. Helmets and body armour were in such short supply that incoming troops at the embattled Sarajevo airport in Bosnia had to take these items from departing soldiers—and hope that they would eventually find one that fit. But I digress.
Last spring, in one rather desperate attempt to find a meaningful high-profile, post-Afghanistan mission, some generals floated the idea of
In explaining why the proposal gained no traction among the Harper Conservatives, one party insider quipped, why would we leave Afghanistan—a complex tribal conflict in a remote corner of the world where we have no historical ties and fewer future economic gains—to move to the Congo, another complex tribal conflict in a remote corner of the world where we have no historical ties and fewer future economic gains?
Earlier this month, John Schram, a former ambassador with decades of experience in Africa, proposed that after our experience in
If our experience over the past decade has taught us anything, it should be that it is unwise to make a large-scale, long-term military commitment to a single operation.
For instance, as a result of our military being heavily engaged in
Similarly, only close proximity and a Herculean effort by our military personnel let
A common denominator in these recent military crises and natural disasters is the need for a rapid and efficient response. Following the air force’s acquisition of a sizeable strategic airlift capability in the form of four C-17 Globemasters, and the navy’s proposed purchase of two Joint Support Ships to transport our army’s experienced and well-equipped light combat forces,
As a former colony and a nation of immigrants,
Had the international community been able to respond to events in
The traditional role of the UN blue helmet peacekeeper may be a thing of the past, but the need for international humanitarian intervention remains a pressing concern for the present and foreseeable future.