Yesterday I said, about Minister Harjit Sajjan and his visit to Africa to study the the subject of 21st century peacekeeping: “let’s hope he actually learns some facts and then shares them with the “daydream believers” on Team Trudeau.” It appears, according to an article in the Globe and Mail, that he did learn, that he has “seen the light” and that he understands that peacekeeping in the 21st century is not what the “daydream believers” in the Liberal Party and the Laurentian Elites
think hope it might be. So, well done Minister Sajjan! He understands that this …
… is obsolete; dead and gone, replaced by something like this …
… and, in fact, Minister Sajjan, correctly in my opinion, even says that the word “peacekeeping,” with its 1960s connotations, is inappropriate, and he prefers to use the term “peace support operations.”
My question now is: will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his campaign team “get it,” too? Or will they insist on trying to reinvent the 1960s and the baby-blue beret style UN peacekeeping missions that worked well enough in international conflicts involving UN members states but are likely to fail in the cruel, bloody intranational conflicts ~ involving non state actors (terrorists and the like)?
There is a way to do some useful, productive, “peace support”work in Africa, but I suspect that the Trudeau regime, which has its heart set on winning a quite worthless, second class, temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council, will not want to consider it: it is to rebuild the Canadian military back into a “world class” force that will allow us, once again, to “punch above our weight.”
The government does not have to buy F-35s or even drones (although both would be handy) but it does need:
Lots of sea and air transport ~ some of which can be leased when needed;
Specialized vehicles and equipment for army light forces; not, necessarily, these specific systems but things like them, suited light (light(er) that LAVIIIs and Leopard 2 tanks, anyway) forces and including logistic support systems, too …
… and enough soldiers to fill up three light brigades (that’s about 16,000± soldiers and that doesn’t count 6,500± in a mechanized brigade and 4,000± more in a fifth, light, airborne defence of Canada brigade);*
Helicopters, helicopters and more helicopters, some of which we have …
… and some of which we need …
… plus we need the support and sustainment forces I have described before. But we need sailors and ships, soldiers and equipment and people and aircraft for a whole range of tasks, not just for light forces, not just for “peace support operations” and not just for Africa.
As a friend of mine, over on Army.ca opines, this may be “one of those rare periods of history when the world will force itself on Canada,” it may be the “peace support operations” in Africa are a half decent geo-political idea; it may, equally, be that they amount to just burying one’s head in the geo-politcal sand. Perhaps the real threat to peace is in Eastern Europe or in the South China Seas or in the Islamic Crescent. We should not be looking for a niche (nor for a second class seat at the table) but, rather, at rebuilding what used to be a “vest pocket army” that allowed Canada to “punch above its weight.”
My guess is that Minister Sajjan’s wise words will be lost on the prime minister and his campaign team who know little and care less about military matters. In fact, I suspect that Team Trudeau may tell the minister to “amend” his views in order to keep close to the PMO’s preferred narrative. Doing the right thing and doing it right (tip of the hat to the late Warren G Bennis) is not something that appears to interest the Trudeau regime … getting re-elected is all that really matters to them.
* There are about 68,000 men and women in the full time, regular force; of those about 28,000 wear an army uniform but only about half of them are in combat brigades. There are 26,000 reserve force members, nearly 20,000 are in the army reserve but only a few thousand are trained and ready to join full time units. My guess is that the brigades (we have three, we really should have five), alone, need over 20,000 full time, regular soldiers (that’s 6,000 to 7,000 more than we have today) and something like 3,000 trained reservists who can be identified and “earmarked” to fill vacant slots in the brigades. That would be a mighty challenge for a government that actually wanted to restore Canada’s defences … it’s likely way beyond anything the Liberals could ever imagine.