Category Archives: Armed Conflict

Where we stand

Published as letter to the Globe and Mail, November 17, 2015 There may be little that can be said with certainty about the Islamic State phenomenon, but one thing is remarkably clear – the war on terror isn’t reducing, and … Continue reading

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Baltic vulnerability dramatically overstated

Except for Kuwait, all post-Cold War invasions have occurred during conditions of advanced internal division and crisis. That doesn’t describe the Baltic States. (Reprinted from Embassy Magazine, September 16, 2015 – page 7)

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Russia, NATO, and Baltic vulnerability

The Pentagon is sending state-of-the-art F-22 fighter aircraft to Europe for the first time, further confirmation that NATO and Russia have locked themselves into increasingly provocative military behavior from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea. Both sides obviously believe demonstrations of intimidating … Continue reading

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Upholding the norm against chemical weapons

The rationale for an American attack on Syria has come down to a single argument. If chemical weapons use is not met with immediate and lethal reprisals, the norm against such heinous attacks will erode, leaving Bashar al-Assad and dictators … Continue reading

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Cruise Missiles or Conference Tables for Syria?

Of all the evidence and broad assertions offered in US Secretary of State John Kerry’s public briefing on chemical weapons use in Syria,[i] none is more reliable than his admission that “there is no ultimate military solution.”

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Time to shift from a military to a political exit strategy in Afghanistan

As the US, Canada, and others focus on the 2014 deadline for extracting their military forces from Afghanistan, the neglect of a credible political exit strategy threatens to push that troubled country still further down the path of escalating civil … Continue reading

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The war in Sri Lanka is over but the search for peace continues

Canada has undertaken some welcome diplomatic activism in support of reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka – a critically important follow-up to the long and deadly civil war that ended in May 2009.

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Who will sit at the Afghan negotiating table?

The news that the Taliban will open a political office in Qatar is rightly being welcomed as a watershed moment – even though it is a belated one, coming at the 10-year mark of the post-9/11 war in Afghanistan.  The … Continue reading

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Canadian drones and the UN arms embargo on Libya

The sale of a Canadian-built surveillance drone to Libyan rebels last summer may well have been in violation of the UN arms embargo. The Government says it has asked the RCMP to investigate.

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Preventing War: an audacious fantasy or a practical objective?

The approaching season of peace and goodwill invariably rekindles our longing for a world in which swords are beaten into ploughshares and nation refuses to take up sword against nation. The hope may be genuine, but few of us can … Continue reading

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