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Malcolm

Peace keepers into Mali

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It appears that the Libs are sending our soldiers into Mali to keep the peace. I hope they have "real rules of engagement" that allow them to at least shoot back.

Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Canada returns to Africa in wake of tragic Somali and Rwandan operations

By Murray Brewster, CBC NewsPosted: Mar 16, 2018 6:09 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 17, 2018 1:51 PM ET

 

It's not clear yet how many soldiers the Trudeau government is sending to the Mali mission. (AFP/Getty Images)

 

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Murray Brewster
Defence and security

Murray Brewster is senior defence writer for CBC News, based in Ottawa. He has covered the Canadian military and foreign policy from Parliament Hill for over a decade. Among other assignments, he spent a total of 15 months on the ground covering the Afghan war for The Canadian Press. Prior to that, he covered defence issues and politics for CP in Nova Scotia for 11 years and was bureau chief for Standard Broadcast News in Ottawa.

The Canadian military will deploy helicopters and support troops, including medical teams, to the troubled West African nation of Mali later this year, CBC News has learned.

A senior government official, speaking on background, said a formal announcement will be made Monday.

The deployment is in response to a direct request from the United Nations.

Details on how many choppers and personnel will be involved are still being worked out, but the official said the UN has been served with formal notice of Canada's participation.

The helicopters presumably would replace a German contingent which has been flying transport and medical evacuation missions in Mali.

Trudeau, who is on vacation in Florida, spoke by phone on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands.

Both countries have been actively pressuring Canada behind the scenes at the UN to make the commitment. Trudeau took the opportunity to brief both leaders on the decision, said the source.

Walter Dorn on the Mali mission0:30

When the deployment takes place, it will be the first major step the Liberal government has taken to fulfil its promise to return the Canadian military to peacekeeping.

Last fall, at a Vancouver ministerial summit, Trudeau reaffirmed an earlier pledge to deliver up to 600 troops and 150 police to UN peace support operations.

He laid out a roadmap that included a five-year commitment of helicopters, transport planes, military trainers and a 200-strong rapid reaction force of troops.

The elements, officials said at the time, were to be deployed piecemeal as the UN requested them, and would eventually add up to the 600 personnel that were promised.

Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and one of the leading experts on peacekeeping, said it's about time a decision was made.

"It has taken far too long," he said. "I think the cabinet was dithering and delaying. Having said that, I'm pleased the government is actually committing troops, but we have to see how fast they act on

Officials speaking on background at last fall's ministerial summit said armed helicopters would be among the aircraft Canada would offer for future missions.

It's likely that the Royal Canadian Air Force would deploy to Mali both its CH-146 Griffons, which have been modified to carry machine guns, and its CH-147-F Chinook battlefield transport helicopters.

The Germans have both armed and transport helicopters in Mali. The Dutch, which provided the contingent before them, also flew both.

A crash involving a Tiger helicopter claimed the lives of two German aircrew in Mali last summer. 

A troubled history

Trudeau's commitment in Vancouver was itself a major departure from past policy, which saw Canada send hundreds, even thousands, of troops overseas on peacekeeping operations.

The Mali deployment, which will take place later this year, also marks a return to Africa by the Canadian military, which — in Trudeau's words — has "had a troubled history" of peace missions on the continent.

Canada was last in Africa from 2000 to 2003, when it set up a UN mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea, but it is the scandal-plagued Somalia mission and the tragic Rwandan genocide of the 1990s that Trudeau was referring to.

The UN has repeatedly asked Canada for help in Mali, which holds the distinction of being the deadliest peace support operation on the books.

As of the end of February, 162 peacekeepers had been killed in Mali since the mission was established in 2013.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN's under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, recently warned the Security Council that the human rights and humanitarian situation in Mali, which is plagued by an insurgency and Islamic extremists, is getting worse.

'We shouldn't rule out fatalities'

The new Canadian deployment comes as the UN plans a restructuring of the mission.

"It will be less dangerous — several times less dangerous — than Afghanistan," said Dorn. "But it will be dangerous and we shouldn't rule out fatalities."

The senior official said that the Liberal government has secured a commitment that Canadian aircrew and troops will be rotated out after 12 months.

That's significant, because one of the major concerns of the government and the Canadian military has been that the UN has lacked a defined rotational system for troops.

Countries deployed on peacekeeping missions sometimes get stuck in place because no other country wants to come in and relieve them.

Since promising a major return to peacekeeping, the Liberals have turned down multiple requests from the UN, including command of the Mali mission and separate military and police training plans in the country.

 

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Canada's Mali mission will emphasize deployment of female peacekeepers  


CTV News Channel: 'Very little peace to keep'

Queen's University's Leah Sarson says it is a very dangerous place and thinks the gov’t hopes to mitigate some of the risks via helicopter.
Former chief of the defense staff Gen. (Ret'd) Tom Lawson and Mercedes Stephenson discuss the deployment of Canadian troops to Mali.
Mercedes Stephenson reports that up to 250 Canadian peacekeeping troops will head to Mali before the end of the year.
 Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press 
 Published Sunday, March 18, 2018 5:59PM EDT  

OTTAWA -- The Canadian military's upcoming foray into Mali is expected to include a marked female presence as the Trudeau government looks to have Canada lead by example in the push to have more women on peacekeeping missions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on Monday will unveil details of Canada's mission to Mali, which will be centred around the deployment of up to six military helicopters.

The aircraft will include a combination of Chinook helicopters tasked with providing medical evacuations and logistical support and smaller Griffons to act as armed escorts for the larger transports.
A French soldier stands inside a military helicopter during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to the troops of Operation Barkhane, France's largest overseas military operation, in Gao, northern Mali, Friday, May 19, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Christophe Petit Tesson, POOL)

The exact numbers are still being finalized, a senior government official said Sunday on condition of anonymity since an official announcement had not been made.

The decision to send military helicopters to Mali follows a direct request from the United Nations and fulfils the Trudeau government's promise in November to make such aircraft available to a future peacekeeping mission.

But Canada will also take the opportunity to make good on another commitment made in Vancouver, the official said, namely to champion an overall increase in the number of female peacekeepers.

The UN has adopted a target of having women represent at least 15 per cent of military personnel serving as peacekeepers by 2020, and 20 per cent of police officers.

But many countries are falling short of those targets -- including Canada even though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled several measures in Vancouver aimed at getting other countries to do more on the issue.

Of the 19 Canadian police officers deployed on UN missions at the end of February, five were women, which equates to 26 per cent. But only two of 22 military personnel were women, which is just over nine per cent.

Canada has a way to go, the government official acknowledged, which is why the military will attempt to ensure women are well represented among the 200 to 250 Canadian military personnel deployed to Mali.

"One of the key things that we committed to in Vancouver was to increase the participation of women in missions, and we will be seeking to meet our objectives as much as possible," the official said.

"So within that entire deployment, we will seek as much as possible to meet our objectives to increase the number of women."

The Canadian helicopters will be deployed later this year to the northern city of Gao, which serves as a main staging area for the UN into northern Mali where Islamic militants and Tuareg rebels are active.

Canada is expected to take over from the Belgians, who are currently in the midst of replacing the Germans after filling the gap for several years.

The plan is for Canada to hand the mission over to another country, perhaps Jordan or the Netherlands, in 2019. Trudeau spoke to the leaders of both countries in recent days.

Mali has long been seen as a frontrunner for where Canada would deploy peacekeepers, after the Liberals promised a return to UN missions during the last federal election.

But the government had nonetheless dragged its feet for several years, in part because of perceptions that it was an extremely dangerous mission given that dozens of peacekeepers have been killed in attacks there since 2013.

Most of those killed were peacekeepers from developing countries, who are responsible for patrolling and guarding against attacks from the militants and rebels.

Two Germans were killed last year when their helicopter crashed due to what was later deemed to be a technical error, while two peacekeepers from the Netherlands died in a similar incident in 2015.

But one foreign diplomat whose country has experience operating helicopters in Mali nonetheless told The Canadian Press that the risk was relatively low, with the country's harsh climate posing perhaps the greatest risk.

"There are no concerns about anti-aircraft weapons. So it's safe," the diplomat said.

"The issues that might cause a challenge are more the climate: it's the strong winds with the sands in the desert, which are really tough for highly sophisticated helicopters. That and the heat."
story link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-s-mali-mission-will-emphasize-deployment-of-female-peacekeepers-1.3848176

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From a Veterans site....

 

” Of all the places Trudeau could have selected to fulfill his political promise, he picks the deadliest UN mission on the planet with absolutely no peace to keep.

If one of those helicopters goes down, who exactly is going to carry out the search and rescue mission? Who will be guarding the airfield or the medical facilities? Based on the numbers it won’t be Canadians. 

Playing politics with the lives of Canadian soldiers to appease the UN...how bloody pitiful. “

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"he (trudeau) picks the deadliest UN mission on the planet with absolutely no peace to keep.

The thoughts of someone who actually knows what he's talking about.

 

 

Edited by DEFCON

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Let see if he decides to go on a meet the troops pr visit...what will he wear, what will he wear???? 

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2 hours ago, st27 said:

Let see if he decides to go on a meet the troops pr visit...what will he wear, what will he wear???? 

easy question.  He will want to look tough and will not want to get hurt.

Kevlar suit.  Blue helmet. Military battledress. Combat boots.

The only optional is if he goes to pearl handled revolvers in open holsters and a cigar hanging out of his mouth.

Edited by Fido

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2 hours ago, st27 said:

Let see if he decides to go on a meet the troops pr visit...what will he wear, what will he wear???? 

 

B3AE9CF6-8DB2-4E13-86B5-C9B58A932B67.jpeg

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I truly hope no Canadian lives are lost on this mission. Reading this backgrounder, Trudeau will have a lot of explaining to do if things go south. Are the troops really going to be equipped to withstand the mission??. The defence minister says so, but looking at Canada’s overall military readiness, I would not want to be heading into this theatre.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-deadly-new-peacekeeping-mission-to-mali/

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1 hour ago, st27 said:

I truly hope no Canadian lives are lost on this mission. Reading this backgrounder, Trudeau will have a lot of explaining to do if things go south. Are the troops really going to be equipped to withstand the mission??. The defence minister says so, but looking at Canada’s overall military readiness, I would not want to be heading into this theatre.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-deadly-new-peacekeeping-mission-to-mali/

Equipped is one thing, rules of engagement is the most important.  They must be allowed to fire fire when presented with a threat not just after they have been fired upon which would result in avoidable casualties for our troops.. 

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11 hours ago, st27 said:

 Reading this backgrounder, Trudeau will have a lot of explaining to do if things go south.

A return to peace keeping in Africa was an election promise and Mali was always the prime contender. The only surprise (to me) is the amount of time it took to announce the deployment and this may have simply been a function of timing it with the exit of Dutch forces.

The voters got exactly what they said they wanted and no other explanations are required. Time to pay for what we insisted on having... simple eh?

Edited by Wolfhunter

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Canada's peacekeeping mission in Africa is destined to become the folly in Mali

Whether we send 250 or 2,500 personnel, we'll be sending them into quicksand

 

“ Canada's upcoming contribution to a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali — announced by the Trudeau government on Monday —  is destined to become the folly in Mali. It is exactly where Canada and the Canadian military does not need to be.  

 

First of all, the Canadian military has been unequivocal in issuing warnings of deploying to African nations that are in the midst of civil war, rife with Islamic extremism and replete with child soldiers — and all three conditions exist in Mali. It's become one of the deadlier UN missions in history as a result.

 

A military briefing note on potential peacekeeping missions to Africa, published before the Mali announcement this week, warned that "child soldiers … are likely to be encountered on an increasing basis," which can lead to severe psychological trauma for deployed personnel. The document noted that combat encounters between Canadian soldiers and Mali children could become a public affairs nightmare if the engagement "is not well-handled, and communicated effectively." In fact, the authors continue, "there is a strong potential for significant negative impact on the mission."

 

No kidding. Any of us who remember Somalia can attest to that. In that case, the Canadian Airborne Regiment became embroiled in a very dirty war where it could not discern friend from foe, nor the kids from the adults who often came around to loot the camp supplies. It ended with a tortured and beaten-to-death Somali teen, a disbanded regiment and larger questions about the overall purpose of Canadian "peacekeeping" missions. 

 

In the same briefing note mentioned above, the military warned about sending less than the most combat-capable troops to any African peacekeeping mission, suggesting that "a force consisting of only lightly armed and equipped personnel may be much more vulnerable to attacks from child soldier units."

 

"Consideration should be given to the provision of heavier weapons," it added.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/mali-mission-1.4585038

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Child soldiers are simply a fact of life in the region… nothing new here. This deployment falls squarely into the “what did you think was going to happen” realm and the Liberals get full credit for doing what they said they would. 

The real question here is why do liberal voters and their pet media outlets always pretend they didn’t really want what they wanted after they get it... The Government has previously been criticized in the media for not doing this earlier. Liberal voters are hard critters to fathom. Time for them to either grow up or start paying attention. All the information was readily available prior to voting day.

Edited by Wolfhunter

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The inhabitants of this "sh!thole" are strongly motivated by the desire to kill each other off, children included.

With nothing worth saving, why would trudreau place our people in harms way, or waste expensive resources?

I wonder how well women will do when the need to shoot one, or more child soldiers arises?

 

 

Edited by DEFCON

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DEFCON - While I agree with the premise of your question, the simple soldiers answer (to why) is because he said he would do it if elected… a plank in the Liberal election platform as it where. The fact that I (and I suspect you) are fundamentally opposed to virtually every nail in every plank of said platform doesn’t really matter much.

 People are always fond of blaming the government; but I tend to blame the voters. No one who voted Liberal has cause for complaint here and, to his credit, Trudeau is doing what he said he would and this is a courageous decision (I wouldn’t do it). It was either Mali, the Congo or South Sudan and Mali was always seen as the likely winner. Of all the goings on there, I’m most disappointed with South Sudan… there was real potential there and it was squandered in a shameful manner IMO.

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1 hour ago, DEFCON said:

 

I wonder how well women will do when the need to shoot one, or more child soldiers arises?

 

 

Hopefully we will send "Trained Soldiers" and in that case both men and women might have some qualms but their training would kick in especially if they are under fire.

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A difficult problem and fraught with PTSD implications, but a reality none the less. You play the cards you're dealt  and Canadian troops will do far more good in this endeavour than they will harm:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/may/19/canadian-army-guide-dealing-child-soldiers-react-first

Edited by Wolfhunter
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you do not join the army to stay home and relax.  you join the army to fight or in this case peace keep in order to fulfill the demands of out UN and NATO obligations.  Every soldier understands this.  This is their JOB.  The PM is their Boss.  We may not like it but it is what it is.

Now the bigger issue is will we take care of these MEN AND WOMEN when they return to Canada.  The last and current governments certainly have not held up that part of the bargain.

 

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10 minutes ago, boestar said:

you do not join the army to stay home and relax.  you join the army to fight or in this case peace keep in order to fulfill the demands of out UN and NATO obligations.  Every soldier understands this.  This is their JOB.  The PM is their Boss.  We may not like it but it is what it is.

Now the bigger issue is will we take care of these MEN AND WOMEN when they return to Canada.  The last and current governments certainly have not held up that part of the bargain.

 

 

actually the bigger issue is not when they come back home it is if they survive.  We must ensure that they are properly equipped and that appears will not be the case. 

Quote

In the same briefing note mentioned above, the military warned about sending less than the most combat-capable troops to any African peacekeeping mission, suggesting that "a force consisting of only lightly armed and equipped personnel may be much more vulnerable to attacks from child soldier units." "Consideration should be given to the provision of heavier weapons," it added.

So what is the Liberal government planning to send to Mali? Lightly armed helicopters and troops that are described as "support" and not combat-ready — exactly contrary to the advice offered by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). And of course, the Trudeau government wants our UN contingent deployed with a marked female presence, even though — despite years of emphasis on getting more women in uniform — women comprise less than three per cent of CAF combat arms today.

 

Part of the rationale behind the mission is obvious: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is desperate for a seat on the UN Security Council, a UN body that is remarkable for its uselessness and characterized by its dominance by tinpot dictatorships. But Trudeau has promised the pursuit of the UN Security Council seat as part and parcel of the idea that "Canada is back."

Instead of playing gender politics and demonstrating his sycophantic love of the UN, Trudeau should be ensuring that we have a military that is capable of fulfilling its basic obligations to NATO and NORAD.

 

Ultimately though, the folly in Mali is not just emblematic of a failed defence policy. After dithering over where to send Canadian troops to plant the peacekeeping flag, Trudeau has chosen a most inhospitable plot of land that is replete with Islamic terrorism, child soldiers, torrid temperatures and a raging civil war. Whether he sends 250 personnel or 2,500 personnel, he is sending them into quicksand.

Story Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/mali-mission-1.4585038

 

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I appreciate your position Wolfhunter; trudeau promised and we're apparently going to have to live with the consequences.

On the other hand, political promises are being broken every day, so why are these sorts of undertakings sacrosanct?

 

In previous conflicts a high percentage of ground troops could not bring themselves to fire at a living target. Various remedies have been employed between events to recondition soldiers and thereby reduce the incidence of this shortcoming.

It's also known that women have a special softness for children whether they're combatants, or not.

When the two human combat weaknesses are considered together, I don't think the result speaks favourably for the women being dropped into the middle of this horror.

 

   

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March 24, 2018 8:12 am
Updated: March 24, 2018 8:15 am

Canada’s allies frustrated with Trudeau handling of Mali peacekeeping announcement

By Staff The Canadian Press 
 

Diplomats from some of Canada’s closest allies are expressing frustration with how the Trudeau government handled this week’s announcement that it plans to send military helicopters to Mali.

They anonymously say the government failed to explain that the mission is both necessary and that the Canadians will be relatively safe, compared to the thousands of other peacekeepers working in Mali.

READ MORE: Roughly 250 Canadians troops are heading to Mali — what dangers will they face?

They fear the government has allowed incorrect information to spread unchallenged, threatening to undermine Canadian public support for what they say is a critical contribution to the UN peacekeeping effort in the West African nation.

The UN appealed for Canada’s assistance last week.

On Monday Ottawa said Canada would send six helicopters to Mali to help with medical evacuations and transporting UN troops and supplies.

But it’s not yet clear how many personnel will be involved.

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I think there is a lot of truth in this. We said we would go there and this particular role is both critical and relatively safe, so lets get to work, I'm tired of listening to liberals whimper about getting things they wanted. The 250 personnel include crews, maintainers, support staff, medical etc so the numbers add up pretty quickly… and those positions will be (mostly) inside the wire and likely located in Gao. The conditions are harsh, and by that I mean hard on helicopters, but the Afghanistan experience is similar in many ways and the Canadian Air Detachments, including UAVs did very well.  

The UN is also seeking a quick reaction force (QRF) so perhaps we will see Canadian combat troops fill this role as the original total was 600… but that’s just a guess. UAV/UAS is in demand there too as are UN police. The main danger is to troops conducting patrols. That said, Mali is a quagmire with no easy solutions and no end in sight. If you are enamoured with long term deployments, Africa is the place to be. You wanted it... you got it.

PS. when I say you, I don't really mean you... I mean us.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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At least 2 UN peacekeepers killed in Mali

Canadian soldiers aren't yet in Mali but multiple UN peacekeepers were killed and injured after a deadly ambush. Glen McGregor reports.
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, April 5, 2018 8:14PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 5, 2018 8:58PM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali -- The UN mission in Mali says at least two peacekeepers have been killed and 10 others wounded by an attack in northern Mali.

Mission spokesman Olivier Salgado says the deaths happened Thursday night when several mortar rounds struck a peacekeeper camp.The attack took place in Aguelhoc in the northern region of Kidal, and the victims were from the Central African nation of Chad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though a number of Islamic extremist groups are known to be active in the area.

Kidal was among the Malian towns under jihadist rule in 2012 until a French-led military operation ousted them from power and dispersed them into the desert. They have staged numerous attacks on Malian and international forces.

 

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Why isn't Canada in SA protecting and defending whites instead of expending our people, time and resources on a hopeless cause?

 

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3 hours ago, DEFCON said:

Why isn't Canada in SA protecting and defending whites instead of expending our people, time and resources on a hopeless cause?

They do not speak French in South Africa.

From the role that Canada is taking I wonder if they even need to take bullets with them?

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