Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

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Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Accer on Sat 11 Nov 2017, 4:27 pm

The Trudeau government said previously it will send up to 600 troops abroad for UN peacekeeping missions. Yet details of the plan suggest the Liberals are to offer a less conventional commitment.

Ottawa pledged last year to make up to 600 troops and 150 police officers available for UN missions

By Murray Brewster Nov 10, 2017

Canada is ready to offer the United Nations a list of high-end equipment and troops who could train peacekeepers from other countries for dangerous deployments, CBC News has learned.

The pledge, to be made Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an international gathering of defence ministers in Vancouver, does not involve a long-awaited commitment to a specific mission, nor will it see large-scale boots on the ground, said multiple sources.

The Liberal government pledged over a year ago to deliver up to 600 troops and 150 police officers to UN-mandated peace operations.

The goal is still relevant, said one official who spoke the condition anonymity, but it is something the government "is committed to build up to."

The Vancouver proposal will attempt to address critical institutional gaps at the UN, one the world body has repeatedly complained about, including shortcomings in planning, surveillance, the quality of forces going into the field, and also the number of women involved in deployments and conflict resolution.

The sources say the UN will be given an inventory of Canadian military and police "capabilities" — options for them to choose to support ongoing operations.

That would, in effect, involve smaller deployments of higher-skilled Canadian troops on an intermittent basis in the future, the sources said.

It would be a departure from the traditional concept of peacekeeping — involving battalions of infantry soldiers.

A new kind of peacekeeping

Among other things, Canada also wants to develop better methods to share and co-ordinate commitments between countries, said sources with knowledge of the file.

The sources say the Liberal government's contribution will also highlight the need for institutional reform.

"Peacekeeping is a great thing. Canada invented it. But it is sorely in need of reform," said one senior government official speaking to CBC News on background. "The traditional way of going about things needs to change for new world situations."

The Liberals committed to specific troop numbers in order for Canada to get a seat at the peacekeeping ministerial meeting in London last year.

But it was made without a full analysis the situation at the UN and the state of peacekeeping, said a source who was privy to the discussions at the time.

Canada's proposal will include addressing critical gaps at the UN including increasing the number of women involved in deployments and conflict resolution.

There are few traditional ceasefire observer missions around the world, the kind most Canadians associate with peacekeeping.

The UN has pitched Canada on a number of specific missions, including the dangerous deployment in Mali and several smaller ventures in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

All of them have been turned down, much to the frustration of European allies, such as Germany, France and the Netherlands, which have been involved in missions in that region.

Atul Khare, the under-secretary general for the UN Department of Field Support, was more diplomatic in a recent interview.

"I wouldn't say we are frustrated," Khare told CBC's Power & Politics. "I would say we hope that this visit in Vancouver will be an opportunity to elicit from Canada their exact plans for their deployment and to work very closely with them to actually finalize those plans in the shortest possible time."

Equipment on offer

Preliminary discussions on what capabilities Canada could contribute have been taking place at UN headquarters in New York for weeks.

In late October CBC News, quoting sources in New York, reported on some of the exploratory capabilities that could be on offer.

They included a C-130J Hercules transport operating out of the UN's logistics hub in Entebbe, Uganda.

The military aircraft could be used to help transport personnel and equipment between missions in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and possibly Somalia.

There was a separate proposal to train peacekeepers in specific threats, such as countering roadside bombs and booby traps.

"We always need high-end capabilities, what I call the tactical airlift and even the strategic airlift," said Khare. "My department particularly is in discussions with Canada on this score and I hope an announcement can be made very soon."

Whether those suggestions made the final cut for Wednesday's announcement is unclear.

The Liberal government is also closely examining what sort of innovative technology can be piloted and introduced to UN missions, such as surveillance drones with infrared technology.

It has also examined the usefulness of GPS location devices for peacekeepers, among other things.

The Liberal government is also asking other countries attending the meeting to sign on to an initiative that aims to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

After two years of dithering, are Liberals finally about to decide on a UN peacekeeping mission?


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Trooper on Sat 11 Nov 2017, 6:52 pm

For those that are not aware, we now are dealing with isis, isis is moving all over the globe including Africa. There's no such thing as peacekeeping, peacemaking in today's world, not while isis continues to exist. Those who believe otherwise need to give their head a shake, further to this, those who send their troops in an environment that includes such operations as peacekeeping, or peacemaking are fully responsible for their well being in terms of knowing that isis exist, and knowing the way isis operates!



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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Spider on Mon 13 Nov 2017, 10:40 am


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Nemo on Mon 13 Nov 2017, 4:59 pm

Yeah....let's forget UN peacekeeping.... I saw it in action in Croatia in 1993 and it was totally ineffective.


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Forcell on Wed 15 Nov 2017, 1:49 pm

Canada offering 200 ground troops for future UN peacekeeping operations

Canada to deliver host of initiatives including $15M trust fund
By Murray Brewster, for CBC News Posted: Nov 15, 2017 12:15 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 12:28 PM ET

Canada is prepared to offer up to 200 ground troops, transport and attack helicopters, cargo planes and military trainers for future United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Liberal government announced Wednesday.

The five-year military commitment is part of a comprehensive package that includes millions of dollars to help other countries boost the involvement of women in peace operations and strengthen security for those involved in high-risk missions.

The presentation of the long-awaited list of military "capabilities" was reported last week by CBC News.

With the details in place, the list is now being registered with the international office overseeing peacekeeping more than 14 months after the Trudeau government committed to providing up to 600 troops and 150 police officers for UN operations.

Senior government officials, speaking on background prior to the announcement, said the numbers could eventually reach what was pledged last year, but the focus of Canada's renewed involvement will see smaller more tightly defined missions, rather than the mass deployments of troops as in the past.

It is being called "smart pledges."

Negotiations with the UN on which missions to undertake have yet to get underway and it could be as long as two years before the first soldiers and equipment get out the door, the officials said.

"We are just starting down this path," said the official. "The exact what and where is going to take a little time to sort out."

Turned down missions

Why the Liberal government has waited so long to register the information and make the offer is unclear, given the party's firm commitment in the last election to return the country's military to peace support operations.

The UN has regularly bombarded the Liberal government with specific mission and equipment requests and all of them have — to this point — been turned down or left under consideration.

The latest report from the international office of peacekeeping — dated August 2017 — sees urgent requests for helicopters, troops, bomb disposal teams and surveillance equipment in Mali and South Sudan as well as police support in Haiti.

The biggest component of Canada's proposed military commitment will be a so-called quick reaction force of troops, likely french-speaking, which would be deployed on a UN mission to either keep — or enforce the peace, depending on the conditions .

Those troops would be called upon respond to emergencies and attacks on civilians or aid workers.

Separately, the air force will be prepared to deploy CH-147 Chinook helicopters and CH-146 Griffon helicopters, which can be configured with machine guns as attack helicopters.

The cargo planes, to be used to ferry other UN peacekeepers, would be C-130J and possibly C-17 transports, depending upon the mission.

Included in the package — as CBC News reported Tuesday — is a $15 million trust fund to help other countries recruit women soldiers and police officers for peacekeeping missions and provide enhanced training for those already in uniform.

An additional $6 million is also being made available to the UN that will ultimately help strengthen security for women involved in dangerous missions.

Child soldier announcement coming

Also on Wednesday, Retired lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire will help roll out a new set of commitments for the international community to sign onto aimed at preventing the use of child soldiers and better protecting children in conflict.

The UN released a report last month that found more than 8,000 children were killed or injured in conflicts around the world in 2016 and thousands of children had been recruited or used by warring factions.

Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address on preventing and better addressing sexual violence in armed conflict.

After long ignoring the issue of sexual violence in war, the international community has in recent years stepped up its efforts to end rape and other sexual crimes in conflict zones and to hold perpetrators to account.

But the UN has also struggled with revelations that peacekeepers themselves have either sexually abused or exploited the very people they were meant to protect in a number of countries.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan kicked off the two-day Vancouver summit on Tuesday by noting that not only did Canada help invent peacekeeping, but 120,000 Canadians have worn blue helmets or berets over the years.

Yet Sajjan also reminded delegates, including foreign dignitaries, military officials and civil society actors, that peacekeeping has changed since Canada was among the top troop-contributing countries in the 1990s.

And he said it is imperative that the international community adapt to ensure the UN can respond effectively in what are increasingly complex and dangerous environments and conflicts.

"Today, it's rare to see UN peacekeepers monitoring a ceasefire between two countries. Today's missions are often undertaken in areas of ongoing conflict. Places where there is not much peace to keep," he said.

"It's more about protecting civilians and working to build a peace in a hostile environment where belligerents are not identified. In the face of this extraordinary and evolving challenge, we must ask ourselves: What can we do better? What must we do differently?"


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Trooper on Sat 18 Nov 2017, 8:26 pm

UN mulls Canada's announced peacekeeping contribution, warns hard part is yet to come

$15M also committed to recruit and promote women in military and police

Melissa Kent --- Nov 16, 2017

The United Nations is grateful for Canada's announced contribution to peacekeeping operations but the hard part — the where, how and when — has yet to be negotiated, leaving some concerned about the details.

''There are plenty of elements within what the prime minister announced that I think are going to be very useful,'' said one UN official who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity. ''In terms of where individual units and personnel will deploy, that's always been the most difficult part of the discussion.''

The package put forward by Ottawa includes specialized equipment and training, as well as a rapid response force of up to 200 soldiers with tactical equipment that could respond to threats against UN operations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday at an international peacekeeping summit in Vancouver attended by defence ministers from around the world.

''It has been difficult to get to this point and obviously we are all keen to get a meaningful contribution from Canada as soon as we can,'' said another UN official who has been privy to the discussions since Ottawa pledged up to 600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and 150 police officers more than a year ago. ''We waited, and waited and waited.''
''The capabilities that Canada has would be fantastic in peacekeeping,'' said the official. ''If we can get a high-end capability without too many caveats, of course we would welcome it.''

Canada says discussions with the UN will begin immediately and could last for months. It's all part of what the UN's Oliver Ulich calls the ''complicated global puzzle'' of peacekeeping. Ulich is chair of strategic force generation at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). His team is responsible for matching contributions with gaps in the field.

''The air assets that could potentially be provided would be extremely important,'' says Ulich. ''We have a severe shortage of helicopters in some of our missions.''

Canada is offering an aviation task force of Chinook and Griffon helicopters. The Griffon can be configured as an attack helicopter if required.

The UN's mission in Mali is desperately short of helicopters at its bases in the northern city of Kidal, which has been repeatedly attacked, and in Timbuktu. DPKO and allies such as France have been openly pushing for Canada, with its expertise and its francophone soldiers, to contribute to the mission. Many hope that option is still on the table.

As first reported by CBC News, Canada is also offering a C-130 Hercules to the UN's logistics base in Entebbe, Uganda which could be used to transport equipment and personnel on missions in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and possibly Somalia.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, left, is welcomed by Central African Republic Prime Minister, Simplice Sarandji, centre, at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic on Oct. 24. Guterres paid tribute to the thousands of UN peacekeepers in the country. Canada says discussions with the UN on future peacekeeping will begin now. (Joel Kouam/Associated Press)

DPKO's needs are well known to member states. The department regularly puts out a public Capability Requirements report listing current and expected gaps.

But Trudeau said peace operations have drastically changed since former prime minister Lester B. Pearson proposed a UN-led peacekeeping force during the 1956 Suez crisis.

Increasing women peacekeepers

Canada says is it is applying an "innovative" approach to a stagnating UN goal to increase the number of women in peacekeeping. It includes a $6 million UN contribution towards improving the suitability of mission conditions.

Before the announcement was made, Nahla Valji, senior gender adviser to the UN secretary general, said improving conditions in mission settings is key to supporting the deployment of more women, ''like having toilet units within your container. Having adequate lighting in the camp.

''Creating conditions that are conducive to safety, that are gender-sensitive, that consider women's needs in being deployed.''

Trudeau also announced a five-year pilot fund worth $15-million which would be used to "recruit, train and promote" female military and police personnel. Ottawa hopes other countries will emulate this idea.

Almost two decades after the UN Security Council first adopted a resolution aimed at increasing women in peace operations, the numbers have barely changed, leading to the resurrection of the idea of financial incentives.

It was first floated in 2015 as part of a UN review of peace operations commissioned by the secretary general and in a mammoth study on women, peace and security requested by the Security Council. That same year council members unanimously adopted a resolution to "incentivize greater numbers of women."

Women peacekeepers ''improve the mission's image, accessibility and credibility vis-a-vis the local population,'' said the UN study. They are seen as less threatening, and their community outreach capability increases a mission's capacity for intelligence gathering.

''It also bears noting that not a single female peacekeeper has ever been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse on mission'' the study said. For years the UN has been grappling with accusations of child rape and other abuses by its blue helmets.

'Premiums and incentives'

Valji is in favour of the funding mechanism. ''We're looking at premiums and incentives for deploying faster and deploying to dangerous areas,'' she said. Valji says gender-balance premiums should also be considered.

Pablo Castillo Diaz, a policy expert at UN Women, is credited with coming up with the idea of using money to nudge countries. ''Why not use financial incentives?'' says Castillo Diaz. ''This is one of the most successful policy tools in any area of work.''

Shorter deployments

But some sources within DPKO believe it's either unnecessary or ''too soon'' to introduce such financial incentives.

In July the department announced a pilot program offering deployment periods of six months instead of a year for women with young children, and it introduced a new quota-reward system for countries that put forward women for certain peacekeeping posts. One UN official says those initiatives should be allowed to come to "fruition" before money comes into play.

About 3,560 female military personnel work in the 15 peacekeeping operations around the world, about three per cent of the total military deployment. For women police officers the figure is 10 per cent, but it has not changed since 2010.

According to the latest DPKO figures, only 18 countries have reached the target of 15 per cent deployment of female military experts adopted at last year's peacekeeping ministerial conference in London. Forty countries don't send any women, and about 50 countries send female police officers but not military personnel.


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Canada's top general pushes back against critics of peacekeeping plan

Post by Trooper on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 6:19 pm

Chief of Defence Staff argues Liberals will respect their initial peacekeeping promise

CBC News --- Posted: Nov 19, 2017

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance speaks to the media at Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont., on March 29, 2017. Vance says Canada is meeting its peacekeeping commitments.

Canada's top general is forcefully rejecting the notion that Canada's new peacekeeping commitment isn't in line with the Liberal government's initial promise.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada's Chief of Defence Staff, argues that the plan outlined days ago by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver is consistent with what was first discussed 14 months ago, when the government committed to providing up to 600 troops and 150 police officers for United Nations operations.

The plan unveiled on Wednesday called for up to 200 ground troops, transport and armed helicopters, cargo planes and military trainers for future United Nations peacekeeping operations.

"There was a tendency to grasp at the number 200: 'Well, they said 600, now it's really 200.' That's not true, that's one smart pledge," Vance told CBC Radio's The House from the Halifax International Security Forum.

Trudeau has said he wants Canada to make "smart pledges" around peacekeeping.

"A mythology was created that had never been part of what we said, had never been a part of a mission description," Vance added.

The government's plan presented this week includes providing equipment, training, and a rapid-response unit of Canadian troops that would be called upon by the United Nations to fill gaps on certain missions.

Liberals criticized for falling short

"We are making these pledges today, because we believe in the United Nations and we believe in peacekeeping," Trudeau said. "What we will do is step up and make the contributions we are uniquely able to provide.".

The government was criticized for seemingly falling short of their initial promise.

Following the announcement, the NDP's foreign affairs critic Hélène Laverdière told The House that the Liberals had not lived up to their word.

"One has to wonder what they've been doing for the past year," she said.

Her Conservative counterpart Erin O'Toole was also critical.

The plan "was a shameful display of trying to hide a broken promise," he said.

Not so, Vance argues.

He explained that as he was looking at options to present to the government, one of the criteria he was asked to consider was the desire to improve UN performance.

Looked at Mali, but it was not a commitment

"You don't improve UN performance by sending a 600 block of Canadians to one spot and operate there. You'll certainly improve the situation in that area, but Canada has an aspiration to improve the institution across multiple missions," he told host Chris Hall.

Vance also rejected the popular notion that was circulating prior to the announcement that Canadian troops were going to deployed to the West African nation of Mali.

He says the military did carry out research on a variety of options and locations, and that created a lot of noise in the media.

But the country's top general says that once you factor in the various quick-response deployments and training missions, Canada's new peacekeeping blueprint will live up to what the Liberals first put on the table.

"There will be 600… very likely 600 troops deployed doing that," he said.


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Trooper on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 7:39 am

Canadian peacekeeping may not be as advertised

Published November 19, 2017

Last Wednesday, the Trudeau government used the backdrop of the United Nations peacekeeping summit in Vancouver to make what amounted to a non-announcement on Canada’s future role as a peacekeeper.

This is something that Trudeau and the Liberals had campaigned hard for during the 2015 election. It was music to the Canadian public’s ears to hear that Canada was going to move away from contributing to U.S.-led military interventions and get back to the good old days of monitoring ceasefire lines in bright blue UN helmets.

Then the Liberals were swept into power and those promises to make Canada a great peacekeeper again suddenly weren’t so easy to implement. In August 2016, chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance told the media that the Canadian Army would soon be embarking on a peacekeeping mission to Africa.

This bombshell was supported by statements from Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The details announced were pretty specific as we were told this future mission would involve 600 soldiers, 150 police and cost as much as $400 million.

What was never decided was where exactly in Africa this expeditionary force would actually be deployed. In an almost comic opera farcical skit, poor old Sajjan and a number of top military officers flew around the world — not just Africa — seeking a viable role in any one of the ongoing UN peacekeeping missions.

Fifteen months later, we found out that the answer to that question is none of the above. Instead, Canadians were told that we will be contributing a grab bag of expertise and equipment to various other nations that will actually conduct the dangerous operations in actual war zones.

Yes indeed, Canada has a fleet of C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift transport planes and 15 brand new heavy-lift Chinook helicopters now available to fly other countries’ troops into conflict zones and keep them supplied.

However, when it comes to us offering up training to other nations’ peacekeepers prior to them deploying into theatre, that begins to stretch credulity just a little bit.

Canada has not engaged in any large-scale UN missions since the conflict in the former Yugoslavia ended with the signing of the Dayton Accord in the summer of 1995. That would be before most new Canadian recruits were even born, and any veterans of those Balkan missions would now be well into the twilight of their military careers.

How exactly are we supposed to instruct others in something we have not practised for over two decades?

Even more bizarre was the announcement of a special $15-million fund that will be used as an incentive to get other UN nations to contribute a higher percentage of females to peacekeeping missions.

This is all part of Canada’s new ‘feminist’ foreign policy, and it is also something the UN has been paying lip service to for quite some time. In fact, to shed some light on the dearth of women deployed by the UN to ceasefire lines, celebrity actress Angelina Jolie personally addressed the summit in Vancouver.

Of the 13,000 UN police officers currently deployed, only seven per cent are women. When it comes to the 87,000 combat soldiers wearing blue helmets, a mere two per cent are female.

The UN has long sought to double those percentages, but over the past 21 years virtually no progress has been made on that goal.

So it will now be Canada to the rescue with a big tempting pot of money meant to encourage other countries to send a higher percentage of their own women into harm’s way.

The ratio of women in the Canadian Armed Forces currently stands at 15 per cent and Canada prides itself on having one of the highest female-to-male ratios of any military in the world.

I have often said that Canadian soldiers are not among the best in the world, they are the best in the world. Why then are we not leading by example and demonstrating to the world what a difference professional female peacekeepers could bring to a UN mission if deployed in sufficient numbers?

Instead we are using our nation’s wealth to encourage more impoverished countries to deploy far less capable female soldiers into harm’s way in order to advance the Trudeau Liberals’ domestic feminist agenda.


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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Accer on Sun 03 Dec 2017, 8:13 pm

Defence chief: cost a key factor in peacekeeping mission choice

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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Accer on Sun 10 Dec 2017, 2:15 pm

CTV QP: Where would peacekeepers go?

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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

Post by Accer on Sun 10 Dec 2017, 2:17 pm

CTV QP: Politics may slow 'quick reaction force'

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Re: Liberals to offer equipment, training for peacekeeping but no mission commitment

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