Category Archives: Armed Conflict

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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Ten years of war in Afghanistan and still relying on a failing strategy

On this tenth anniversary of the start of the war against Taliban rule and an al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan, the central strategy of those who started the war now comes down to mounting a force of 352,000 armed Afghans to … Continue reading

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New proposals for a durable Afghan peace

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is reviewing his strategy[i] for engaging the Taliban following their assassination of his chief peace envoy, High Peace Council (HPC) Chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani, in an attack that also severely injured the Director of the HPC Secretariat, Masoom … Continue reading

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Did 9/11 “change everything”?

Current 9/11 commentaries frequently recall that “everything changed” on that day, but ten years ago the everything-has-changed mantra didn’t so  much describe a new reality as it fed the view that extraordinary times justified extraordinary measures – established values and … Continue reading

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Libyan diplomacy: facilitating local choice

Foreign Minister John Baird’s welcome entry into Libyan diplomacy is marred by Canada’s assumption, shared by most, but not all, NATO states, that military engagement in Libya somehow includes the prerogative to select winners and losers.

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