If I have anything that set the cat among the pigeons, it was this piece, which was based on a conference paper I presented at a Foreign Affairs-sponsored conference in Montreal in late 2000. This was the pre-911 world and debate over Canadian national security policy was moribund with the same people saying the same things again and again. I was bored with the assumptions and misconceptions that the Disco generation had about why Canada sent troops overseas. I was coming off writing Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means which overturned practically all misconception regarding Canada and peacekeeping and after our long involvement in the Balkans and Africa, things had changed.

After I presented “Helpful Fixer or Hired Gun” several of the more established commentators got visibly angry. One sputtered into the mic, incomprehensible with rage that somebody would dare question three decades of established scholarship (as well as the preconceived notions generated by a handful of insider political science professors, as opposed to historical analysis based on archival research). I knew I was on to something when (future Senator) Hugh Segal approached me and suggested I publish the paper in Policy Options, which I subsequently did.


Originally published in Policy Options.