In an article in the Globe and Mail which, given the headline ~ “Trudeau defends Canada’s new peacekeeping plan” ~ seems to suggest that the prime minister’s new peacekeeping “plan” (which may not be the really appropriate word for this smelly mess of political pottage) is receiving less than rave reviews, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is quoted as saying that “Mr Trudeau’s “underwhelming” announcement highlights a void in Liberal foreign policy that will end up giving too much power to the United Nations … [and] … “He’s indicating today that he’ll let the UN decide what our priorities are and I believe Canadians want our own government to decide that,” Mr. Scheer, who was in B.C.’s Lower Mainland campaigning for a coming by-election, said in an interview … [and he added that] … “We can work in a multilateral way and we can work in a consultative way, but Canadians should decide what our foreign-policy principles are.”“
That’s three quite specific criticisms: ceding too much power to the UN by allowing it, not the government of Canada to decide what we will commit, where and when and allowing the UN to set our foreign policies. That’s pretty well old hat as far as Conservative criticism of Liberal/Laurentian Elites policy goes: Prime Minister Harper accused prime Minister Chrétien of the same thing back in the days leading up to the US misadventure in Iraq. But Mr Scheer adds another well established criticism: he accuses Prime Minister Trudeau of dithering ~ in 2005 The Economist dubbed Prime Minister Paul Martin “Mr Dithers” because, in some part, “in allowing his authority to be undermined, Mr Martin [was seen to] be storing up trouble.” Even his own defence minister (now Ambassador to China) John McCallum said, referring to the 2005 decisions to deploy Canadian troops to Kandahar, that ““We dithered, and so all the safe places were taken and we were left with Kandahar.”” Prime Minister Trudeau has, also, dithered. The decision may have been difficult ~ he didn’t want to break yet another promise, after all; he sent his defence minister Harjit Sajjan, to Africa to find a nice, safe mission where loads of Francophone females could pose for great photo ops. But Minister Sajjan came back with the wrong answer: there are no “good,” safe, Liberal, peacekeeping missions in Africa; UN peacekeeping, as understood by Justin Trudeau and the Laurentian Elites, no longer exists … if it ever did. So the PM was stuck between a rock and a hard place: listen to his military staff and send enough people with the right tools to do a credible job, or listen to all the special interests and deploy heaven alone knows what forces in “penny packets” to heaven alone knows where ~ all to be “negotiated” with the UN, an agency that consistently fails at peacekeeping because, as an institution, it is politically corrupt and militarily inept. It is a black hole into which Canada will pour scarce resources that will be wasted … or worse.
Retired generals Romeo Dallaire and Lewis MacKenzie may debate the military merits and even the ethics of what Prime Minister Trudeau has done, but Mr Scheer is right on all the big, policy counts:
- Prime Minister Trudeau has reneged on his implicit promise to Canadians to “return” to traditional peacekeeping ~ but that’s something for which we all should, actually, be grateful;
- Prime Minister Trudeau has abrogated his national duty to lead ~ to decide, as our Canadian prime minister, where and how the Canadian military will deploy to serve any interest, anywhere;
- Prime Minister Trudeau has, tacitly, handed the reigns of our foreign policy over to the corrupt, inept United Nations; and
- Prime Minister Trudeau has done all these things, in some part, because he dithered.
Beyond that, no matter what the United Nations thinks about Prime Minister Trudeau’s plan ~ and the early indications are that it is happy ~ the plan violates a long standing military rule: don’t commit your forces in “penny packets.” In fact, there’s a principle of war that tells commanders to concentrate forces to achieve maximum effectiveness. (It’s the 6th principle, the yellow one, on the chart.) One C-130 Hercules here, and a CH-147 Chinook there and a company sized rapid reaction force somewhere else is a direct violation of that well established principle. Beyond that, as CTV News’ Don Martin said, on social media, “There’s no way to spin Canada’s peacekeeping plan as anything but a major retreat on what had been promised. It took more than a year to deliver a third of the commitment to locations unknown.” In short, the Trudeau
regime is doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. I’m sure they greased all the political wheels in the United Nations’ palatial headquarters in New York ~ the champagne and caviar will have flowed freely, but it is still, as I said, yesterday, just putting lipstick on a pig.
It’s time for a new government … one that will put Canada first. That means a government that is not led by Justin Trudeau.