NATO Summit

What To Expect From This Week’s NATO Summit: A Discussion with Elinor Sloan

July 9, 2018

On today’s Global Exchange Podcast, we sit down with CGAI Fellow and Carleton University professor Dr. Elinor Sloan to discuss this week’s NATO Summit, and what it means for the future of the transatlantic alliance. Join Colin and Elinor as they consider Canada’s future within NATO, Donald Trump and NATO’s 2%-of-GDP defence funding bar, the alliance’s revamped command structure, and the role of NATO in a world of shifting power dynamics and growing nationalism.

Participant Biographies

  • Colin Robertson (host): A former Canadian diplomat, Colin Robertson is Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
  • Dr. Elinor Sloan: A professor of international relations in the department of political science at Carleton University, a former defence analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defence and a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

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A Canadian Primer to the NATO Summit in Brussels July 11-12, 2018

by Colin Robertson
CGAI Vice President and Fellow
July 2018


Table of Contents


Presidents and prime ministers will meet in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday (July 11-12) in a summit meeting of the 29 partner nations. Initiatives on the table include increasing Alliance readiness to counter Russian aggression in NATO’s east; implementing military command structure reform; introducing a new training mission in Iraq; counterterrorism support to Afghanistan, Jordan and Tunisia; and a Black Sea regional security initiative.

But the elephant in the room will be U.S. President Donald Trump.

The conference takes place against unsettled and unsettling times: divisions within the NATO Alliance and threats on its eastern and southern flanks. The recent G7 Charlevoix summit was upset by Mr. Trump’s belligerence, especially towards his host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Trump-inspired trade war with China has begun. Mr. Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have met with retaliatory tariffs from Canada, the Europeans and Mexico. In the European Union there are deep divisions within and between member countries challenging EU unity on issues of migration and the Eurozone. Then there are the Brexit negotiations that have now splitBritish Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet.  While southern allies are focused on migration and border concerns, northern and eastern allies are concerned about Russia.

Russia continues to occupy parts of Ukraine and meddle in Syria and the Middle East. The death of a Briton from Soviet-made Novichok toxin will only exacerbate the strain caused by the Sergei Skripal affair and Ms. May will continue to press for sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, Russia continues to apply the techniques of hybrid warfare against NATO members – cyber-, fake news and interference in elections – while reinvesting in its military capacity and conducting exercises with the Chinese. The North Korean puzzle is more complicated in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit. He described it as “productive” while North Korea’s Foreign Ministry accused the Trump administration of pushing a “gangster-like demand for denuclearization”.

Attention will be focused on Mr. Trump: will he disrupt the meeting? And amid concerns about what concessions he may offer the Russian leader, will he share his plans for his July 16 summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin? Former U.S. ambassador to NATO Victoria Nuland observes that these back-to-back summits “will either restore American global leadership or kill it off, depending on how he plays our hand.”


What is NATO?

NATO is a military and political alliance constructed around the principles of collective security, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. It has 29 members including Canada, the United States and most European nations, as well as a host of Euro-Atlantic partner nations. NATO represents half of the world’s economic and military power. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg observes, “no other superpower has ever had such a strategic advantage.”

In the wake of the Second World War, the victors set up a series of international institutions. The foremost was the United Nations, with universal membership designed to advance human progress and prevent the “scourge of war”. Responding to what Sir Winston Churchill described as the “iron curtain” descending “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic”, the western alliance set up a collective security agreement called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In the words of its first secretary general, Lord Ismay, NATO was to “keep the Russians out, the Germans down, and the Americans in”. Most importantly, it’s a collective security agreement – an attack on one would be considered an attack on all (Article 5). NATO was also designed, at Canadian insistence, to have an economic dimension to promote trade, investment and commerce among its members (Article 2).

The agreement was signed in Washington on April 2, 1949. Its original membership included 12 countries – the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. In signing the agreement then-Canadian External Affairs minister Lester Pearson said that Canadians “feel deeply and instinctively” that the treaty is “a pledge for peace and progress”.


The Alliance expanded: Turkey and Greece joined in 1952, West Germany in 1955 and Spain in 1982. France left the military alliance in 1967 but rejoined in 2009. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, NATO membership is now 29 countries – including Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


NATO Today

NATO is headquartered in Brussels, where Mr. Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, leads its Secretariat with Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, a former U.S. undersecretary for arms control and international security

NATO military operations are headed by two commanders: the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) based in Brussels is currently U.S. General Curtis Scaparrotti; and the Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation (SACT) based in Norfolk, Virginia is currently French General Denis Mercier.

Member nations are represented in both the NATO council and military committee. A Canadian has never held the post of secretary general but Canadians have twice served as chair of the Military Committee; General Ray Henault, a former chief of defence staff, was chair from 2005-2008. The current chair is Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach.

Legislators from NATO nations meet annually in the NATO parliamentary assembly and in November Canada will host the assembly in Halifax. Ontario MP Leona Alleslev, a former RCAF officer, chairs the Canadian NATO interparliamentary delegation.

Defence Expenditure as a Share of GDP (%)
(based on 2010 prices and exchange rates)


What has NATO done?

NATO is the classic defensive alliance with Article 5 of its charter declaring that “an attack on one is an attack on all.” Arguably the world’s most successful military alliance, alliance unity and its deterrence capacity contributed significantly to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, the reunification of Germany and the demise of the communist threat in Europe.

NATO has three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management and co-operative security. For its first 40 years NATO’s purpose was to deter Soviet aggression. With the end of the Cold War, NATO shifted to help the former Soviet bloc countries embrace democracy and the market economy. Today, it deters Russian aggression.

NATO forces were involved in bringing peace to the Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) in operations that continue today. NATO forces, under the umbrella of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), have been present in Afghanistan since 2003. There have been operations around Iraq (1990-1991) and a training mission (2004-2011). In 2005, NATO assisted in the relief efforts following the Pakistan earthquake. In recent years, NATO has also provided support to African Union peacekeeping missions in the Sudan and Somalia. NATO led the UN-sanctioned Libyan campaign (Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in 2011), maintaining a no-fly zone and conducting air strikes against the Gadhafi regime. Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard directed the air campaign.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2014 presented NATO with a renewed challenge. Conflicts within and between states have created failing states and mass migration on its southern flank – in North Africa and the Middle East – that require ongoing attention.

Since 1989, NATO has also become involved in a series of out-of-theatre missions. Over 150,000 troops served under NATO command in six different operations on three continents, including counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.



President Trump and NATO

Attention once again will be focused on President Trump as he attends his second NATO summit. There is no denying that the U.S. provides the muscle for NATO. At a South Carolina rally last month, Mr. Trump said that America is “the piggy bank that (NATO) likes to take from” and at the Charlevoix summit he is said to have called it “as bad as NAFTA”.


Mr. Trump subsequently wrote letters to Prime Minister Trudeau and other NATO leaders from Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany telling them that the U.S. was losing patience with them for investing too little in their militaries and not meeting their collective security obligations. He concluded that it will “become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has also written to his British counterpart, Gavin Williamson, warning that British influence is “at risk of erosion … A global nation like the U.K., with interests and commitments around the world, will require a level of defence spending beyond what we would expect from allies with only regional interests. Absent a vibrant military arm, world peace and stability would be further at risk”. And, “… it is in the best interest of both our nations for the U.K. to remain the partner of choice. In that spirit, the U.K. will need to invest and maintain robust military capability”.

The Washington Post also reported that, surprised at the size and cost of the U.S. presence in Germany, Mr. Trump is considering withdrawing its 35,000 troops although the White House has since denied that this is in the works.

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Mr. Trump called  NATO “obsolete” and while he has relented somewhat and confirmed that his administration would honour Article 5, he has consistently declared that “NATO members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe”. While his manner is obnoxious, when it comes to burden-sharing within the Alliance, Mr. Trump does have a point.



Big Ticket Items

1. NATO Readiness to Reinforce Collective Defence (including investing in capabilities)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and intervention in Syria underline the need for NATO readiness. In practical terms this means a rapid combat-ready expeditionary force with attention to cyber-defence and maritime security. As NATO scholar Julian Lindley-French and Admiral (ret’d.) James Stavridis, former SACEUR, argue: “Article 5 collective defence must be modernized and re-organized around cyber-defence, missile defence and the advanced deployable forces vital to contemporary defence.”

Recent military exercises have demonstrated shortcomings in NATO’s ability to move forces across Europe, because of bureaucracy (customs officials asking to see passports at borders) and inadequate infrastructure (the bridges, roads and railways that have to handle military transports). In June, NATO defence ministers agreed to the “Four Thirties” initiative, a military readiness plan that would see the Alliance have — by 2020 — 30 land battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 navy vessels, ready for deployment in 30 days or less.

Assuming it is adopted, NATO allies will need to designate troops, establish a reporting mechanism and plan for readiness exercises. There are also plans to create  two new commands — one in Norfolk, Virginia to ensure U.S. maritime access across the Atlantic and the other in Ulm, Germany, focused on logistics in Europe.

2. Defence Spending

The United States shoulders nearly three-quarters of the Alliance’s operating budget. U.S. presidents and cabinet secretaries have consistently encouraged NATO members to spend more.

Defence spending in 2000 for eight of the 18 NATO members was two per cent of GDP but it steadily declined. At their Wales summit (2014) allies agreed to meet two per cent of GDP spending on defence “within a decade.” According to NATO figures (March 2018), only five of the 28 members meet NATO’s target of spending at least two per cent of GDP on defence – the U.S., the U.K., Poland, Greece and Estonia. The U.S. spends 3.57 per cent on defence and the U.K. 2.12 per cent, while Canada spends 1.29 per cent, Germany spends 1.24 per cent, France 1.79 per cent, Italy 1.12 per cent and Spain 0.92 per cent.

The combined defence budget of NATO nations has grown by US$14.4 billion since the Wales summit (2016) with all but one of 28 allies increasing spending, and 26 sending more troops for NATO missions. Sixteen – but not Canada – are on track to spend the NATO target of two per cent of their gross domestic product on defence by 2024. Those allocating at least 20 per cent of their defence budget to major equipment ­(another pledge from a summit in Wales in 2014) have risen from 14 to 24 (including Canada).

The U.S expects more from its allies. Mr. Mattis has said, “America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defence.” The U.S. argument was best expressed  in the valedictory remarks to NATO (June 10, 2011) of former U.S. defence secretary Robert Gates who warned, “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.”

3. Relations with Russia

With the end of the Cold War, there was some expectation that Russia would eventually become a NATO partner. In 2009, NATO and Russia signed an accord to “build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and co-operative security.” The NATO-Russia Council, created in 2002 and suspended in 2014 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has resumed with seven meetings over the past two years.

President Putin’s objectives are clear: he wants an end to sanctions and an end to U.S. military exercises in Europe and the scaling back of U.S. forces there. Mr. Putin is also seeking to create a sphere of influence on his frontiers and, through the creation of his Eurasian Union (a free-trade customs union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus), a counter-weight to NATO. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continuing incursions into Ukraine violate the UN charter, the Helsinki Final Act and Russia’s own commitment “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine”. Ukraine is not Mr. Putin’s first incursion into a neighbour’s territory. In 2008, at his instruction, Russian forces occupied southern Georgia.

Russia also retains a “longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order” and is acting on it, according to a declassified report from U.S intelligence agencies on hacking during the U.S. election.

4. NATO Partners and NATO Expansion

NATO’s partnerships, born out of its 1990 London summit, focused first on the former Soviet bloc nations (many of whom are now full members), then on crisis management in the Balkans, and, since 9/11, on wider partnerships now including more than 40 nations around the world – Australia, New Zealand and, as the latest addition, Mongolia. At its peak, the ISAF mission in Afghanistan included 22 partner nations. Partnership does not include the security guarantee of Article 5.

Ukraine and Georgia want membership in NATO and, at the Bucharest summit in 2008, NATO encouraged this. But NATO enlargement is controversial and there is discussion of different architecture to guarantee security. With the name dispute over Macedonia resolved, Mr. Stoltenberg expects Macedonia will soon join NATO.

A wise persons’ report (2016) commissioned by the Finnish government concluded that Finland and Sweden should stick together, whatever the decision, but that membership would provoke Russia. It described Russia as an “unsatisfied power” that “has made unpredictability a strategic and tactical virtue, underpinned by an impressive degree of political and military agility.”

5. Afghanistan

NATO continues to lead a non-combat mission – Resolute Support – involving 13,576 troops and 39 nations (but not Canada) to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions. NATO and its partners are already committed to providing financial support to sustain the Afghan forces until the end of 2020.

NATO has been involved in Afghanistan since the UN Security Council authorized the NATO-led ISAF that operated from August 2003 to December 2014. ISAF is NATO’s longest mission, employing more than 130,000 troops from 51 NATO and partner nations, including Canada.

Canadian Forces left Afghanistan in March 2014 after a 12-year campaign and the loss of 161 men and women. Yet Canada continues to support a number of programs and activities.

6. Countering Terrorism

Mr. Stoltenberg says NATO will do even more to combat terrorism, with continued commitments to Afghanistan and a new training mission in Iraq. NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and supports it through AWACS intelligence flights. Its Counter-Terrorism Policy Guidelines focus Alliance efforts on three main areas: awareness, capabilities and engagement.

7. Migration

NATO and the EU are working together on migration, seeking to tackle the root causes and to help stabilize the source countries, including training local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO is also assisting in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean, and providing help to the EU’s Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean, with 10 ships and maritime surveillance aircraft currently in the region.



What Results Can we Expect from the Brussels Summit?

President Trump wants the Allies to meet the NATO norm, originally set by NATO in 2002, of two per cent of GDP spending on national defence. While the Allies are spending more and more on equipment, the pace of increase is slower than Mr. Trump wants.

Rather than spend their time debating defence spending, leaders should focus on actual capability requirements and how quickly these resources can be made available for combat. The Afghan and Libyan missions were handicapped by the caveats some NATO members imposed on use of their personnel and equipment.


Canadian Involvement at the Summit?

As a founding member of NATO, Canada has stood with its NATO Allies since 1949. Mr. Trudeau will be pressed on Canada’s financial commitment to NATO. The government’s Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy (2017) commits Canada to increasing its defence spending to 1.4 per cent of GDP by 2026-2027, well short of the NATO two per cent norm. But as Mr. Trudeau has said, “there are many ways of evaluating one’s contribution to NATO”, noting that Canada has “always been amongst the strongest actors in NATO.”


This includes Canada’s leadership of a multinational NATO mission in Latvia (and Mr. Trudeau will visit Latvia before going to the NATO summit). The 450-strong Canadian Forces contingent represents the commitment Mr. Trudeau made at the Warsaw summit in 2016, as part of broader Canadian support to Operation REASSURANCE, and notes the “significant procurement projects” – especially the ongoing construction of new warships and the purchase of fighter jets – and Canada’s renewed activist internationalism.

As part of Canada’s commitment to NATO’s Operation REASSURANCE, Canadian fighter jets patrol the Baltic skies. Since April 2014, Canada has deployed our Halifax-class frigates, most recently HMCS Charlottetown and HMCS St. John’s, in support of NATO reassurance measures. HMCS Windsor, one of our Victoria-class submarines, recently returned from five months in the Mediterranean where its mission included tracking Russian submarines. Canada is providing humanitarian and Special Forces support to a U.S.-led multinational effort to support pro-Iraq forces battling the Islamic state.


In terms of readiness, Canadian forces already have achieved significant interoperability on land, air and sea with the U.S. through NORAD, our bi-national aerospace and maritime surveillance agreement, and through both joint exercises and active operations in theatres like Afghanistan, Libya and now in Latvia. Mr. Trudeau can also point to Canada’s new mission, as part of the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali, involving 250 Canadian soldiers and eight helicopters.

But we could do more. That means spending more, not because Mr. Trump says so, but because Canadian sovereignty requires it.

The Canadian Forces are having trouble with recruitment, so why not increase the reserves and bring in more young people who will learn a trade and, inevitably, be involved in useful community work around natural disasters?

We could also do much more to assert our Arctic sovereignty – picking up the pace for construction of the icebreakers by using all of Canada’s shipyards and building more Arctic offshore patrol ships and supply ships. We should also invest now in the next generation of submarines – they are the ultimate stealth weapon to deter unwelcome intrusions. And why not invest in a hospital ship to provide humanitarian relief in the increasing number of climate-related disasters that beset coastal nations?

Given the changing nature of threats, Canada should seek membership in the EU/NATO Centres for Excellence:

  • hybrid threats in Helsinki, Finland (current membership is Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S.)
  • cyber-threats in Tallinn, Estonia (current membership includes Austria, Belgium, the Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States)
  • strategic communications in Riga, Latvia (current membership includes Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Finland and Sweden have become partners. France and Canada have seconded staff)


Does NATO Still Matter?

Yes. But collective security means collective contributions. Despite his bullying manner, Mr. Trump is right – the Allies do need to share the burdens. As former president Barack Obama repeatedly told Canada’s Parliament: “NATO needs more Canada”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland gets this, telling a Washington audience recently (June 2018) that:

Since the end of the Second World War, we have built a system that championed freedom and democracy and prevented regional conflicts from turning into total war. Canada for one is going to stand up in defence of that system … America has been the leader of the free world. We Canadians have been proud to stand at your side and to have your back. As your closest friend, ally and neighbour, we also understand that many Americans today are no longer certain that the rules-based international order of which you were the principal architect and for which you did write the biggest cheques still benefits America.

At the centre of that defence arrangement, as Ms. Freeland told parliamentarians (June 2017) in laying out the Trudeau foreign policy: “NATO and Article 5 are at the heart of Canada’s national security policy.” We now need to up our defence contribution.

NATO still matters. As the New York Times recently editorialized:

Born after World War II, NATO linked America and Europe not just in a mutual defense pledge but in advancing democratic governance, the rule of law, civil and human rights, and an increasingly open international economy. The alliance was the core of an American-led liberal world order that extended to Asia and relied on a web of international institutions, including the United Nations and the World Bank. It remains the most successful military alliance in history, the anchor of an American-led and American-financed peace that fostered Western prosperity and prevented new world wars. No one has proposed anything credible to improve upon it.

But NATO also needs to be continuously improving to adapt to changing world conditions.

A good starting point is the recommendations of the GLOBSEC NATO Adaptation Initiative, led by General John Allen and including CGAI Fellow Julian Lindley-French. In the spirit of the Harmel Report (1967) and “to better prepare NATO not only to meet the many technology and affordability challenges but to master them  –  from hybrid warfare to hyperwar” they recommend a strategic review in time for the 70th anniversary summit so that NATO is “prepared, fit and able to act across the seven domains of grand conflict: air, sea, land, cyber, space, information and knowledge.”

Defence Expenditure as a Share of GDP (%)
(based on 2010 prices and exchange rates)



Public Opinion and NATO

In a spring 2017 Pew Research Center survey of six EU nations (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom), the U.S. and Canada find positive views of the military alliance.


Asked whether their own country should militarily defend a NATO ally (i.e., Article 5) if embroiled in an armed conflict with Russia, there is strong support in the Netherlands (72 per cent), Poland (62 per cent), United States (62 per cent), Canada (58 per cent) and France (53 per cent) for living up to their country’s mutual defence commitment as a member of NATO.

Two-thirds of Canadians hold NATO in high esteem, a rise of 10 per cent since 2015, with rising support across demographic groups and with strong support among the major parties: Liberal Party (75 per cent), Conservative Party (74 per cent) and New Democratic Party (65 per cent).


Germany has the fourth largest defence budget in NATO, but only 40 per cent of Germans believe they should come to the aid of an ally. More than half (53 per cent) do not support such aid.


A Gallup survey in February 2017 revealed 80 per cent of Americans support the Alliance. When Gallup first asked Americans about their views on NATO in July 1989, 75 per cent thought the alliance should be maintained. This percentage dropped to 62 per cent in 1991, months before the Soviet Union’s formal collapse, staying at that level during NATO’s 1995 intervention in the Bosnian War.



Further Reading

NATO has a comprehensive website. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute produced a series of papers on NATO in advance of parliamentary hearings by the House of Commons National Defence Committee into NATO that recently tabled its report Canada and NATO: An Alliance Forged in Strength and Durability. See also the GLOBSEC NATO Adaptation Initiative report, One Alliance: The Future Tasks of the Adapted Alliance.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on April 4, 2018. Stoltenberg says recent Russian missile tests do not pose any direct threat to the Canadians or their allies, but they underscore the importance of a strong NATO presence in Latvia and the rest of Eastern Europe.  


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Senate National Defence Committee on Peace Operations




OTTAWA, Monday, June 20, 2016

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 10 a.m. to study on issues related to the Defence Policy Review presently being undertaken by the government.

Senator Daniel Lang (Chair) in the chair.

The Chair: Colleagues, welcome to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence for Monday, June 20, 2016.

Before we begin, I would like to introduce the people around the table. My name is Dan Lang, senator for Yukon. On my left is the clerk of the committee, Adam Thompson.

I would like to invite the senators introduce themselves and state the region they represent, starting with the deputy chair.

Senator Jaffer: Mobina Jaffer. I’m from British Columbia.

Senator Raine: Senator Greene Raine from British Columbia. I’m subbing in for Senator Dagenais from Quebec.

Senator Day: Good morning. Senator Joseph Day from New Brunswick.

Senator Beyak: Lynn Beyak from Ontario. Welcome.

The Chair: Today, we will be meeting for five hours to consider issues related to the defence policy review that was initiated by the government. On April 21, 2016, the Senate authorized our committee to examine and report on issues related to the defence policy review presently being undertaken by the government and to table its report no later than December 16, 2016.

We are considering issues around Canada’s possible participation in future UN peace support operations as well as other items related to the review.

Prior to introducing our witnesses today, I want to inform members of the committee that it will be our intention to have a meeting on Wednesday to deal with Bill S-205, the bill presented by Senator Moore. At that as well, I would like to discuss the steps forward on the study that we are in the process of, which I just indicated earlier. Time has not been scheduled yet. Hopefully, it will be earlier on Wednesday morning. We have free time and will organize accordingly.

Senator Day: That’s the normal time slot for Veterans Affairs. We were hoping to have five or ten minutes of that time to talk about future business as well.

The Chair: Perhaps what we could do, senator, is schedule it earlier in the morning to be flexible on the time. We may not have to do it at 12 o’clock. Perhaps we can do it earlier in the morning, if that’s okay with you on steering.

Senator Day: I don’t know about caucus.

The Chair: We will have to see our scheduling, but on Wednesday, we would like to get some time to deal with Bill S-205 and also future plans.

Senator Day: The normal time slot is 10:15 to 12:15.

The Chair: Hopefully we can do it a littler earlier.

I notice Senator Meredith is here. Welcome.

Colleagues, joining us for our first panel of the day are Elinor Sloan, Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, Carleton University; and from the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Colin Robertson, Vice-President and Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary.

Ms. Sloan, as this is your first visit, as far as I know, to the committee, a special welcome.

Mr. Robertson — who has been here many times — welcome back.

I understand each of you has a statement. We have one hour for this panel.

Colin Robertson, Vice-President, and Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute: Chair, senators, Dag Hammarskjöld, the second United Nations Secretary-General, once said, “The United Nations was created not to lead mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.” Hammarskjöld’s observation holds true today. It is of particular relevance to this committee in its consideration of how Canada could best respond to UN Secretary-General’s Ban Ki-moon’s request for more help with peace operations.

For all its faults, the United Nations is still our best vehicle for supplying peacekeepers to separate warring factions in providing food, aid and development, and saving endangered women, children and minorities. But the UN peace operations need our help.

Transparency International and Human Rights Watch have assessed the militaries of the 30 countries, almost all developing nations, which provide the most soldiers and police officers to UN peacekeeping operations. They observe that these militaries are among those most susceptible to corruption and guilty of abuse and crimes against those they are sent to protect. In short, they need better training in operations and in the field. Canada can help, drawing on our acknowledged expertise in successful pluralism and good governance. As a people, we celebrate diversity in our many cultures. We define progressive pluralism, the ability of people of different origins to get along together. Our constitutional commitment to “peace, order and good government” means that for us governance is a continuous work-in-progress, and we are good at it.

During its two decades of operation, the Pearson Centre trained more than 18,000 people coming from the military police and civilian communities of more than 150 countries. Those graduates went on to contribute to global peace and security operations, and they brought this knowledge and experience back home. Some of the Pearson Centre’s work was picked up by the U.S.-based Peace Operations Training Institute. With an international advisory staff, it now provides accessible and affordable self-paced, online, on-demand courses on peace support, humanitarian relief, and security operations, but the Secretary-General argues there is a need for more.

There is a seller’s market for peacekeepers given increasing situations involving failed or failing states. Many less developed countries are effectively renting their soldiers as peacekeepers. Today’s average peacekeeper — there are 120,000 of them — comes from a country not just poor but also less democratic and institutionally underdeveloped. The training combat experience and relatively high salaries these peacekeepers receive put them in a position to affect politics when they return home. Their training is important, not just for the immediate mission but for the longer term.

In teaching them about peace operations we are also developing and reinforcing habits around good governance that will make a difference when they return home. Colonels and generals often become prime ministers and presidents in later life. I ask this committee to include in its recommendations the re-establishment of a Canadian peace operations training capacity that draws on Canadian expertise.

We should aim to have equal representation of men and women. Our bilingualism is a real asset in our trainers. Thanks to our enlightened immigration policies, we have significant language capacity in our Armed Forces which we can mobilize. Our trainers should also reflect Canadian cultural diversity, including those from the LGBT community. Our training approach would be different from before and likely involve setting up regional centres in other countries. It would draw on the best of what we achieved through the Pearson Centre, but with equal emphasis on immediate stabilization of the situation and sustainability for the longer term.

In teaching the profession of arms in asymmetric warfare conditions, increasingly the essence of contemporary peacekeeping, we would draw on our Afghan experience. We are well placed to develop a UN standard, the equivalent of an ISO 14000. Call it UN blue helmets certified to protect. As an incentive, we could make UN allowances conditional on a set of performance measures. We would draw on other agencies of governments, diplomats, police, intelligence, lawyers, doctors and nurses. There is considerable practical experience in our civil society, for example Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and the Parliamentary Centre, drawing on their experience in disaster relief, longer-term humanitarian relief and good governance. If we have learned one lesson from traditional peacekeeping, it is that while our blue berets are essential to stabilization of the situation, long-term peace depends on those with experience in policing, diplomacy, development and the re-establishment of law and order.

Having spent much of my professional career abroad as a foreign service officer, I know that we are among the most blessed nations. Canada has talent and experience. To those whom much is given, much is expected. There are many other things we can also do, such as provide lift support and logistics command, but I believe our most useful role would be as trainers for those engaged in peace operations. Inscribed in our peacekeeping monument not far from Parliament Hill are these words:

We need action not only to end the fighting but to make the peace… My own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force.

What Lester B. Pearson said then is still what Canadians expect of their government. Thank you, chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Robertson. We will go to questions and start with Senator Jaffer.

Senator Jaffer: Thank you very much to both of you for your presentations, and I certainly appreciated what I heard. Some of the things you touched on are things I am struggling with, so I’m glad you touched on them.

One was the issue of pluralism, and I believe in a defence policy that involves who makes up our defence forces, how we encourage people to be part of our bilingualism and our multiculturalism, who we are and what our values are. All of those are very important things. I have had the pleasure of travelling with men and women in uniform, and I’ve always felt when they got on the ground they always demonstrated our values, and that was our biggest strength.

I would like both of you to speak about the use of police forces. I find them very effective. Police from our country, for example, help with training in how to do rape investigations and better policing skills, and I’d like both of you to first comment on that.

Ms. Sloan: I believe that police forces are a critical part of security sector reform, and that was half the component in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army was being trained but also the national police, and it is thought that perhaps the effort to train them did not go far enough or start early enough. We have RCMP in Haiti. Security sector reform within states is extremely important, and normally that’s what police do, not military forces, which generally look outside of borders, if you think of the Canadian example. Building police forces that are well trained, not corrupt, that follow rule of law and that can be trusted by the citizens is a very important starting point in the areas of the world we want to stabilize.

Mr. Robertson: Yes, I think police training, just to reiterate what my colleague Dr. Sloan said, is absolutely vital once you stabilize the situation. Inevitably, you have people, particularly now, literally tens of millions, who are refugees in camps, and you do need policing in situations that will have longer-term duration.

We have considerable experience. We’ve done training of police in Iraq, Jordan, Haiti and in other places, and we have the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec, the OPP and other police forces. We do have a lot of capacity, and these police forces, as you alluded to, reflect the diversity of Canada, and that’s a good signal to send when they see women police officers who speak their language. In some of these countries, that does a lot to reinforce the values we also can bring to peace operations.

Senator Jaffer: When I was in Darfur, our police taught the police there how to do rape investigations, and now when I go back to the region, they say that was the best protocol set up. There is a lot of help we can get from our police force.

I go to the regions a lot, especially in the Middle East, and see war being fought in very different ways from what we’ve seen before. I’d like your comments on whether you agree with me. I think you will, but the nature of war has changed. Extremism and what we see happening with ISIS — they don’t have a lot of equipment, but the way they do is very destructive. I believe that we are going to have to prepare in a different way, and I would appreciate hearing from both of you as to how we can work with the United Nations so that we can use our pluralism and multiculturalism more effectively to fight the war and extremism.

Mr. Robertson: When we first got involved, as Dr. Sloan has alluded to, we were separating basically warring militaries, but now we are dealing with conditions of asymmetric warfare where the bad guys are not far from being bandits in many cases, and the Geneva conventions on warfare do not uphold, so that puts additional pressures on the men and women of our Armed Forces and on peace operations. I think the training for that is different from the traditional training. Again, I don’t think that, according to the UN and other organizations that have looked at recent peace operations, those in the military we are employing from other countries have that capacity.

So I think that’s an area where we can make a difference, drawing on the experience we have had particularly in Afghanistan during that 10 years there and time in other places where we may have been small in number, but, as Dr. Sloan said, it is not quantity. It’s quality. I think what Canada brings is highly qualified experience in peace operations.

Ms. Sloan: The biggest difference between Cold War peacekeeping and current peacekeeping, starting with the Bosnia conflict, is that during the Cold War it was a zone between states, where the government controlled the forces, and there was basically a buffer zone.

Once you moved from interwar to intra-war, like civil war, dealing with civil war became much more dangerous. Peacekeepers could be lightly armed during the Cold War because the states involved controlled their forces. As long as you made sure there were no transgressions, things were fine.

Within states, there is no central authority controlling the people, and so it’s much more dangerous. In some ways peacekeepers need to be more heavily armed today than they were during the Cold War because the circumstances are much more dangerous, and that’s why the Under-Secretary-General is asking for combat helicopters. That’s why I say if our forces are to be deployed, they have to be prepared for warfare. In the big picture, in order to rebuild a society, you first need security, so the military role is to provide that environment. Once that’s provided, other institutions can come in and build governance, and, indeed, the police can start to come in and build police forces.

Just as a brief comment, while that sort of warfare continues and has exploded in the post-Cold War era, we are seeing, at the same time, a return to potential conflict between states, and Canada needs to be ready for that as well.

The Chair: Can you expand on the rules of engagement? If we do send troops to be involved in one manner or another, the question of engagement comes in and how they respond if a conflict erupts. What are your observations in that case, because whether or not that’s clear must be a concern regarding peacekeeping operations under the United Nations?

Ms. Sloan: Of course, our Chief of the Defence Staff and the militaries would define exactly what the rules of engagement are. But during the Cold War, the three principles were consent of the parties, impartiality and use of force in self-defence. It was only use of force in self-defence during the Cold War. In the post-Cold War era, the missions went beyond that to having to forcibly get humanitarian aid through. The rules of engagement changed to become closer to warfare-like circumstances.

Senator White: Thank you very much to the two witnesses. My question is on the discussion around increasing our role outside and whether or not we have the capacity today to do that, and, if not, have you given much thought to where we would have to go from a manpower perspective?

We need to remember force readiness and the importance of that and some of our other tasks we have. If we are going to increase our peacekeeping role, where do you see us having to go from a financial perspective with the National Defence budgets?

Ms. Sloan: Areas of the world that we should prioritize, is that what you’re saying?

Senator White: No, I’m asking what we would have to do as a country, where our budget would be if we were to take on some of the tasks that it’s anticipated that you’re recommending and others are recommending as well. It’s 1.7 percent or 2 per cent of GDP. Do you see those numbers as being important to us?

Ms. Sloan: I believe that defence spending is too low and that it should be increased, and that if the government wants to play the role in the world that it indicates it does, it will need to increase the defence spending. It would be beneficial for Canada to contribute in a major way to UN peace support operations in the areas that I’ve indicated, security sector reform or certain areas of the world that I’ve highlighted, but also to participate in the NATO mission that is addressing Russian aggression as well.

Senator White: You’re talking about discussions around deploying troops into the Baltic, for example, or into Eastern Europe? Is that what you’re referring to?

Ms. Sloan: That’s right, yes. I would support that. In the 1970s, the Canadian military was much larger. It basically drew down from World War II up until the Mulroney and Chrétien era. But during the 1970s, we had 5,000 troops in Europe, and we also had 1,200 people in Egypt. The Canadian military, if it’s sized and equipped, can definitely sustain those two sorts of operations at one time.

Senator White: Thank you. Mr. Robertson?

Mr. Robertson: If you want to use a standard, as members of NATO, we have committed to 2 per cent defence spending, and our current spending is at 1 per cent, so you can take it from there. The Secretary-General, even as recently as the last couple of days, has encouraged all countries, including Canada, to contribute, as you pointed out, to the operations that NATO is looking for support for in Eastern Europe in the face of Russian aggression. This is a choice for governments as to how far they’re going to spend.

But if we are to fulfill our NATO commitment and have the kind of robust involvement in peace operations that the current government is talking about, inevitably you have to cost this through. It will mean larger budgets for the Department of National Defence, but it will probably also mean an examination of what we spend under that umbrella department of Global Affairs in terms of development, because so much of what I’m talking about in terms of peace operations comes from a variety of budgets, not just that of National Defence. But what you’re describing, inevitably if we were to do what we are being asked to do as part of our alliance responsibilities and support for the international order by the Secretary-General of the UN, would involve more expenditure.

Senator White: Thank you very much for that response. If I may, Mr. Robertson, we had a little bit of a discussion here on UN peacekeeping, police operations and training. Presently the funding, I understand, for UNCIVPOL and policing flows from Global Affairs to the RCMP.

In reality, though, when we talk about who they’re supporting, often it’s actually for National Defence when they get there. Would it make more sense for that funding to be reallocated from Global Affairs to National Defence? They work hand in glove in every theatre that I know of.

Mr. Robertson: Senator, yes, that would be a logical response. But my experience is that defence budgets are always under such extreme pressure that it is probably better, if you’re looking for an end result, to have those budgets available in other departments and to have other departments also defending the whole concept of peace operations. If you’re simply talking about the sharp end, then that is National Defence, but for example, having that policing funding come from a very large government envelope is, bluntly, easier to build political support for. There are advantages to having parcels of money in different departments because then you have different ministers who tend to be broadly supportive.

This is your domain, politics.

Senator White: It’s not mine, actually. I wish I was better at it.

Mr. Robertson: But you might have a group of ministers who are broadly supportive of what we’ll call peace operations, not just the Minister of National Defence, so that he or she is not the one carrying that to cabinet.

Senator White: Ms. Sloan? It’s okay to disagree with me.

Ms. Sloan: Yes, I’m not sure about the budgets. I read the testimony of the Minister of National Defence before this committee three weeks ago. One of the things that he talked about was being able to find countries that are at a tipping point. There’s an awful lot of talk about preventive peacekeeping right now and finding areas that will become a problem in the future and going there before the problem arises. It came to mind, when I read that, that critical to that whole preventive component of peace support operations is having diplomats around the world, watching and having intelligence and CSIS, et cetera.

When we talk about revitalizing peace support operations, it’s partly a military aspect but also a diplomatic one as well, and we might want to look at revitalizing our foreign service and going to different places around the world. Indeed, that was a big part of the Lester B. Pearson time. We had folks on the ground, diplomats.


Senator Carignan: I have a supplementary question. Mr. Robertson, we often hear about the 2 per cent of GDP. I agree with the principle, but within this 2 per cent of GDP, what are the two or three objectives that Canada should focus on? We cast a wide net with respect to the 2 per cent of GDP; it can go to different sectors. Can you suggest the two or three areas of investment that should be priorities for Canada? Should Canada give priority to defence or peacekeeping operations? What are the areas of investment that would make it possible to achieve this objective?

Mr. Robertson: Thank you for your question; it is a good one. I think you will get a more accurate answer though if you ask the committees examining defence policy.

I can say this much: most government investments go to the defence of Canada, then to the defence of North America and, finally, to its international obligations. Our international obligations help stabilize and maintain peace around the world which, in my opinion, is enshrined in peacekeeping operations


Senator Beyak: Thank you both for your exceptional presentations. Your knowledge and understanding of this issue are very impressive. You have answered all of my questions in your presentations, but from a practical side, for those watching at home, National Security and Defence is watched by many Canadians. Should Canada be prioritizing UN-led peacekeeping missions or NATO- and alliance-based? In your opinion, which would be best to do, and why or why not? Am I asking that clearly?

Ms. Sloan: I’m hard of hearing in both languages.

Senator Beyak: In your opinion, would we be best in prioritizing UN-led to support operations or NATO-based, alliance-led missions?

Ms. Sloan: In my view, we should prioritize our NATO commitments. My number one recommendation would be to support the effort to boost military forces in the Baltic region versus Russian aggression. Perhaps we disagree.

I believe that when it comes to stabilizing countries, security sector reform is the most important thing, building credible military forces and police forces. It is not a decision of which organization we should support; it is the function we support, which is security sector reform. What we have seen is that NATO has been heavily engaged in this over the past 20 years. Canada has been part of that effort, and the EU is heavily engaged. Not that we should take part in the EU operations, but there are other organizations than the UN.

Mr. Robertson: Senator, I don’t think it’s a question of either-or. As a G7 country and the kind of country Canada is, I believe we can and will do both reflecting our respective interests. We have interests in Eastern Europe, so the request from the Secretary General of NATO is indeed something to consider.

At the same time, we are also founding members of the liberal national order represented by the United Nations. Again, we have interests — the kind of police training we have done in Haiti, the stabilization our forces provided after the earthquake in Haiti. That’s the kind of thing we can do. We are ambidextrous, but it does underline why we need to be prepared for a variety of situations and challenges ranging from the sharp end to issues involving diplomacy development and longer term development.

Senator Beyak: Do we need to reorganize the spending to do that?

Mr. Robertson: Inevitably, we don’t set the international situation, so it’s very hard to forecast. The best of forecasters find it very difficult to predict. Who would have predicted 9/11, for example?

What we have learned over time is to be prepared, like the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared,” for a variety of situations, and be sure that the capacity that we have can address a variety of situations, which is what the Canadian Forces have been very good at. We’re talking particularly of Canadian Forces’ ability to react to situations of humanitarian relief but also to be able to perform credibly in situations of warfare, real or asymmetric.

Senator Beyak: Thank you.

Senator Day: Dr. Sloan, I’m going to focus first of all on the United Nations’ UNPROFOR in the Balkans and the rather poor show that resulted from the United Nations participation there, and then your quote that the Secretary-General said that neither the Security Council nor the Secretary-General are ready to do the kind of military intervention that’s necessary. Given the structure and the veto in the Security Council, can we ever expect that the United Nations would have a role to play that would challenge the role that NATO has been forced into outside of theatre nowadays?

Ms. Sloan: That quote is from 20 years ago. I guess the question is, has the UN come further from that?

It’s still a challenge for the United Nations to mount high-intensity peace support operations. I know that sounds like a strange way of putting it, but peace support operations, depending on the circumstances, can be very dangerous. It can still be very challenging for the UN to do that, which means that there is still a role for regional organizations, such as NATO, to undertake these dangerous missions, and it is exactly what happened in Bosnia.

Senator Day: One of you referred to preventive peacekeeping. Was that you, Dr. Sloan?

Ms. Sloan: Yes.

Senator Day: Does that include deterrence as well, the role that NATO is engaging in now to deter Russian intervention in the Baltic nations by showing strength and preparedness to intervene, if necessary?

Ms. Sloan: Preventive peacekeeping would be similar to deterrence in that in both cases you don’t know if it’s worked. You assume deterrence has worked, but you don’t know if something would have happened if you hadn’t done anything. They’re similar in that vein.

The key distinction between peace support operations and war fighting is, as I indicated in my comments, based on political intent. If the political intent is to intervene, be impartial, stop the killing, then you’re basically not a party to the conflict — you just want the killing to stop; you’re impartial that way — as opposed to a war-fighting situation where an enemy has been defined and you’re against the other side and you’re a party to the conflict.

To deter Russian aggression, Canada would be part of NATO and would be looking at Russia, whereas in preventive peacekeeping it would not be a party; it would just be trying to intervene to stop the conflict from starting in the first place.

Senator Day: Thank you. Do you want to put me on round two, then?

The Chair: I don’t know if we’re going to get to round two. Is it a quick supplementary?

Senator Day: I wanted to make sure we weren’t leaving Mr. Robertson out of this.

What was the problem with the Pearson Centre? Did it lose its way, or was it just that we couldn’t afford to maintain it? What you are envisaging now is that there will be regional centres around the world. That is not something that Canada could handle on its own, I’m assuming. If you could comment on that briefly, that would be appreciated.

Mr. Robertson: As to what happened at the Pearson peacekeeping centre, it was a combination of factors, but I think budgetary considerations were central to the decision to wind it down.

The conditions were such that it was something that the world admired and used, as indicated by the number of nations, 150, and the number of graduates from different countries. When it was no longer there, it was deeply missed, and it is something that we could resurrect but in a different form.

When I talk about, as you suggest, regional centres, we may well take the lead and provide the trainers but not necessarily finance it. If we did, it would be in cooperation with other countries. I think we wouldn’t necessarily have to bring people here, but we could set up regional centres where our trainers could go. Again, there should be some sharing and the host countries, the beneficiaries, could provide funding as well as other parts of the UN. We would probably have to do that.

If we could set this up, it would be quite useful to start training potential trainers for the future from host countries because that would have great long-term value, if we could take the lead in this but then spread this out into other parts of the world.

Senator McCoy: Thank you for coming.

I think you called this operation Blue Helmet. I was quite intrigued in that too. So you’re seeing physical structures in other countries, or at least dedicated premises?

Mr. Robertson: Yes, senator. I think you could indeed take peace training in the sense that we have trained abroad. We’re training police in Haiti, and we have trained Iraqi police in Jordan and Afghans in Afghanistan. You take the same concept and take it abroad, so you wouldn’t have to necessarily have to bring everybody to Canada as we did in the past. Now, with tools and technology, I think it would probably be more cost efficient. Cost is always a big issue and drives, as several senators have suggested, defence diplomacy spending. If you could make efficiencies but at the same time bring it to the host countries where perhaps you are close to the countries, where you have a base in Africa or Asia, for example, I think that would have real value.

Senator McCoy: These institutes would then be set up all over?

Mr. Robertson: We’d have common standards and trainers. It would be like satellite university campuses abroad. That’s the principle.

Senator McCoy: How much do we have dedicated to that now?

Mr. Robertson: It’s piecemeal, incremental and kind of ad hoc. We don’t have that cohesive point of reference we had previously with the Pearson peacekeeping centre. We do some training, of course, in Iraq, but bringing together the various components of government, which would include the longer term, policing, law and order, training judges, for example, and how you run elections. These are all important pieces.

Yes, it is necessary to have our forces stabilize the situation, but what you want is the long-term stabilization of a country, and that involves much more. We know this, and the force would be the first to admit it: It’s not just someone in a uniform with a gun; you need policemen, critically, to provide peace and order, but you also need lawyers, judges and a free press.

There’s a lot that we can teach, again drawing on our pluralism. That’s one of the great values Canada has, and if we can bottle it up and transfer it abroad, that would make a huge contribution to international peace and security.

Senator McCoy: Would you do that under the UN umbrella?

Mr. Robertson: I think the UN umbrella is the most logical place to do it because that is the only international organization — could you do this under NATO? Perhaps, but I think the UN mantle and the blue helmets, their tradition, would make a lot of sense.

Senator McCoy: Professor Sloan talked about security as well. Do you think there should be preconditions before you engage in or dedicate more of our resources — or human resources, for that matter — to UN peace support operations? Should there be any conditions laid down as a prerequisite for our participation?

Ms. Sloan: I believe we need to prioritize based on our security interests. That pertains to our allies and our Five Eyes partners in areas of the world that pose a threat to our allies. I mentioned that stabilizing Northern Mali, for instance, would be very valuable, as would Libya, because of the threat of Islamic terrorism and migrant instability. I believe stabilizing Afghanistan remains important, and our allies have just decided to extend that NATO mission. We need to prioritize the security threat to Canada and its allies.

Then, of course, when it comes to the actual mission, is it viable? Is it well commanded? Are there enough forces? Are the forces properly equipped for the mandate at hand? All of those criteria have to come into play.

Senator Raine: Thank you very much. This is very interesting. I have a simple question, I think. If you go back into the olden days, Cyprus time, we knew who was fighting whom, we had agreements, peacekeepers would come in and there were conditions. Now it seems like the biggest threat — the thing that, as a Canadian, I’m afraid of — is this threat of ISIS. It seems that it can go everywhere and flare up everywhere. Is the United Nations peacekeeping force the best way to deal with the threat of ISIS?

The Chair: That’s a loaded question.

Ms. Sloan: I have not looked into the details of the Mali mission, but I believe that they’re struggling and that quite a few peacekeepers have been killed, et cetera. It’s proving dangerous and difficult for the UN. Germany has recently committed to that operation. The Netherlands is committed to that operation. A country like Canada could make, I think, a good contribution, but other organizations like NATO or U.S.-led coalitions can be very important, as we’re seeing in Iraq and also Afghanistan. As the mission gets more and more dangerous, it tends to move toward other organizations. That’s not to say that it always has to be that way, but so far that’s what we’ve seen.

Senator Raine: I guess I could say, then, that in some situations it turns out that you’re not keeping the peace; you’re really making war against this enemy that has surfaced. That’s the difference between peacekeeping and —

Ms. Sloan: Yes, there’s no peace to keep. In Bosnia, there was something like 34 ceasefires. Oftentimes, ceasefires are sort of negotiated in the fall and broken in the spring, so it can be very difficult because there is no peace to keep and you get caught up in the conflict.

Senator Raine: Yes, it’s complicated. Thank you very much for your insight.


Senator Carignan: My comment is in the same vein as Senator Raine’s, namely, that we should review the mission or mandate that the UN gives peacekeeping forces. Sometimes, there is no peace to keep. We are in that situation. At other times, however, we can destabilize forces by supporting one group over another or, if we are in self-defence mode, we witness atrocities between the two camps, but are not able to intervene.

How important is defining a mandate and what should our role be based on the definition of that mandate before we commit to a mission?


Ms. Sloan: I would say that each operation would be different, but in many of the operations that we’re seeing now, it’s the protection of civilians. If you’re going to go in and protect civilians, you have to be well armed to do that. But each mandate will be different.


Mr. Robertson: I agree that the United Nations is sometimes unable to respond to the challenges. That is why we have turned to other organizations, such as NATO, working with special coalitions led by the United States.

Each situation is different but the key is protecting civilians, women and children. That is very important. That is why we are endeavouring to keep this responsibility.


Ms. Sloan: The big value that the UN brings is a sense of legitimacy. There may be places where NATO could go as well, but it’s better if the UN goes. At the end of the day, NATO is seen as a military alliance with a particular perspective, whereas the UN can have a greater sense of legitimacy to the folks on the ground, so to take measures to make UN operations more effective would be very valuable.


Senator Carignan: Has NATO become the UN’s police force when the UN is unable to do the job itself?

Mr. Robertson: Sometimes that is preferable. Sometimes NATO is called upon to protect civilians.


Ms. Sloan: NATO and other regional organizations are part of the UN system; they’re part of the UN charter. So to go with a NATO operation, you’re not entirely going out of the UN; it’s just been delegated to a regional organization.

Senator Meredith: Thank you so much, both of you, for your presentations.

Ms. Sloane, in your discussion of security sector reform, you stressed training, and you talked about Bosnia and Croatia. In fact, I’ve engaged with some of those officers who were deployed.

You also stressed influence of corruption. What measures are in place to safeguard our officers when they are deployed to these hotspots to ensure that there are no influences of corruption?

Ms. Sloan: I apologize. I don’t have an answer to that question.

Senator Meredith: In terms of training, we are being deployed to ensure there is security on the ground, so my question would be around that in terms of influences. You mentioned it twice in your statement with respect to corruption or those individuals who are engaged in activities that could be considered as corrupt.

Ms. Sloan: Our Canadian Forces are well trained and professional and would go into that circumstance trying to pass on those rule-of-law principles that would be ingrained within the soldiers and officers of the Canadian Forces.

Mr. Robertson: You will remember we disbanded a regiment for what we saw as lack of professional conduct in Somalia. Our rules and the code of conduct are extremely rigorous, but that doesn’t apply to some of those currently involved. That’s something where training should make a difference.

That’s why I argued for the certified to protect, and you could condition performance measures for those countries that are currently providing. If their troops don’t measure up, they would not be doing so, because they bring disrepute to the whole concept of the blue beret and the United Nations peace operations.

Senator Jaffer: Ms. Sloan, you said UN delegates to NATO. That’s not my understanding. NATO goes into areas that it decides; it does not do it under the UN banner. It’s not like the UN is telling NATO to go in; NATO is doing this on its own. It’s not delegated by the UN.

Ms. Sloan: Let me clarify. Chapter 8 of the UN charter covers regional organizations and says something to the effect that if the Security Council cannot agree, then regional organizations can undertake measures until such time as the Security Council can agree.

Senator Jaffer: I understand that. What I’m saying is it’s not like NATO gets permission or is asked by the UN. NATO does it on its own. When it goes under the banner of NATO, it goes with the countries that are part of NATO. It’s not doing it under the UN banner.

Ms. Sloan: That’s right.

Senator Jaffer: It doesn’t have the moral authority of the UN.

Ms. Sloan: That’s right.

The Chair: The question of the UN and their legitimacy was questioned when we had the two previous ministers as witnesses last week. As far as our committee is concerned and recommendations going forward to the government, would it be feasible for a recommendation to look toward us working with our normal allies to ensure that when we go into the United Nations and go under their umbrella and do work on behalf of the United Nations, that there is a clear understanding of the rules of how we are going to conduct our business?

I would like to hear your comments on the question of a recommendation that any recommendation that comes out of this for the purpose of this report, that the financial commitments have to be over and above what has already been committed to the Department of National Defence.

Ms. Sloan: Command arrangements have to be transparent, and if Canada is to be part of a UN operation, the methods through which we are going to operate have to be very clear. Basically your first statement I agree with, yes.

On the financial side, the Department of National Defence has a budget, and then operations end up coming out of that budget. It would be very helpful if there was an increment to that budget to cover operations, as I believe is the way in the United States.

Mr. Robertson: I agree with both of your premises. Yes, we should have a clear sense of the rules of engagement and the terms of engagement when we go in. This has been reiterated by former Canadian commanders who participated in UN missions, ranging from Lewis MacKenzie to Romeo Dallaire.

In terms of the budgeting, yes, although it makes sense to have a supplemental budget, but that’s very hard to get through. I would argue that we provide our Department of National Defence with sufficient funding at the outset, because otherwise what happens is they end up scalping other parts of the operation because there is never an assurance you will get these second supplementary estimates that are sometimes hard to get.

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