The notion that Canada’s primary role abroad is to keep the peace is a child’s argument.
We saw this rhetoric from commentators like the Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui, after Canadian troops were deployed to Afghanistan in 2002. We’re seeing it again today.
The Toronto Star’s Mitch Potter in a piece entitled, “Can Canada’s army return to peacekeeping?” recently wrote:
“Our army, once a leader in protecting civilians trapped by conflict, now is wired pretty much exclusively for war.”
He goes on to ask, should Canada answer the call by the United Nations to revive a bigger and faster international army of blue helmets to meet the challenges posed by Islamic State terrorists.
Apparently there’s a UN peacekeeping renaissance in the works – and Canada needs to be the leader.
There’s just one problem: there is no peace to keep in the Middle East. The whole region is on fire. Who would you keep the peace between?
But that's an unserious daydream about the primary role of Canada’s military.
Peacekeeping is not its primary role. It never has been. It never will be.
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