The Canadian government is about to deploy troops to a UN Peacekeeping mission somewhere in Africa. The exact country is likely going to be announced this week after the defense minister returned from a five country fact finding mission on the continent. Not everyone agrees with the plan. Matt Gurney writing at The National Post argues that:
“Too many of the UN’s recent peacekeeping forays have been absolute debacles. As flattering as it is to tell ourselves that they failed for lack of sufficient Canadian involvement, the truth is probably this: the UN is too dysfunctional to operate effective peacekeeping missions in the parts of the world most urgently in need of the help.
You may have read in recent days a report about a horrific incident in South Sudan. A purportedly secure compound in the capital of South Sudan, home to foreign aid workers, including Americans and other Westerners, was besieged by armed men in South Sudanese Army uniforms. The people inside the compound called for help, notifying a nearby — one mile away, according to the report — UN base that they were under attack. The message was received and logged.
And nothing was done.”
While sympathetic with Gurney’s criticisms I wondered aloud during our conversation whether his argument that Canada should not participate in peacekeeping missions until peacekeeping has been reformed is something of a tautology. How can we reform a system without first showing our willingness to participate in it? Here is our conversation in it’s entirety: