“The Great Canadian Peacekeeping Debate.”

“The Great Canadian Peacekeeping Debate.”

 

 

UN peacekeeping holds a special place in the hearts of some Canadians and is pushed with messianic fervor by the Canadian cultural establishment

What if the truth is more complex? What if the mythology is just that-and has become counterproductive in a new era? What is a country to do?

I fired the first shot back in 2002 with a book called Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means 1945-1970 and detonated the mythological edifice using (shock!) primary sources from (shock again!) an archive, something that had not yet been done by the Canadian historical establishment. The initial reviews were in “Canadian Military Journal” (LCol/Dr. David Last) and“Canadian Army Journal.” (Mark Gaillard).

Mark Gaillard’s review stimulated this response from me.

[note: Stand up Table is a section: scroll down]

And he replied with this.

[note: Stand up Table is a section: scroll down]

I let it go a bit and then the whole issue popped up again over whether our operations in Kabul with NATO-led ISAF constituted peacekeeping or not. So I was asked by Policy Options to write this.

Then Dr. Walter Dorn came out with his usual UN supremacist view in “Canadian Military Journal”: Peacekeeping Then, Now and Always.

Which garnered this response from Major Mike Boire and Dr. Larry McDonough.

Then “Canadian Military Journal” published this piece by Eric Wagner, which was virtually plagiarized from “Canada and UN Peacekeeping”.

I’d had enough, so I wrote an overall response to the issue: Why Keep the Myth Alive?, and, to boot, wrote a piece on E.L.M. Burns and UN Peacekeeping in the Middle East based (shock a third time!) on archival, primary sources.

Guess what? Lester B. Pearson didn’t invent peacekeeping. Lt Gen E.L.M. Burns played a major role in developing an interpositionary peacekeeping approach for the Middle East BEFORE 1956….Oh yeah: peacekeeping was a Cold War tool not readily adaptable to the post-Cold War environment, let alone serving all of Canada’s national security needs.