On August 26 the Trudeau government announced the establishment of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOP). A news release from Global Affairs Canada describes the program as a “comprehensive approach to support Canadian interests and UN peace efforts.” The announcement comes shortly after Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan led a Canadian delegation to five African countries to seek out “facts on the ground” to help decide on a new military adventure appropriate for Canada within the U.S. imperialist push for new “peace operations” worldwide.
According to a government backgrounder the program is also aimed at giving Canada “a stronger voice on the world stage,” something the Liberals said they would do once elected.
The government announced $450 million in funding to the PSOP and 600 Canadian Armed Forces “for possible deployment to UN peace operations.” Canada’s “peace and stabilization operations” and “future contributions will focus more on the areas of early warning, conflict prevention, dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding, and the empowerment of women in decision-making for peace and security.” Beneath the high-sounding phrases is the fact that Canada has allocated 600 soldiers tasked with using force to intervene in internal conflicts according to what the government deems to be “Canadian interests.”
A CBC report the same day stated, “The Liberal government was required to make the specific commitment as prerequisite to get into the upcoming international UN peacekeeping conference in London, which will take place [in September.]”
Responsibilities of “PSOP”
The Peace and Stabilization Operations Program has “three core responsibilities:”
- “Leadership on stabilization and fragile states policy.” The program will “support Canadian efforts to influence and shape dialogue and collective action among allies and partners, particularly at the UN.”
- “Support coordinated responses by the Government of Canada to conflicts and crises abroad.” This means the PSOP will “coordinate whole-of-government responses to catastrophic natural disasters and complex political crises abroad.”
“For political crises in particular, PSOPs will serve as a focal point for information sharing, joint analysis and the coordination of diplomatic, military, security and development efforts to ensure that they are mutually reinforcing and are coherent with and supportive of broader, collective efforts of the international community.”
- “Design and deliver catalytic stabilization initiatives.” This allegedly means to “manage the deployment of Canadian police officers and civilian experts to areas in need.” We are informed that PSOPs will be used to fund sending Canadian police, in particular the RCMP, to participate in “peacekeeping.” Examples of this provided are:
“- strengthening Ukraine’s security sector;
“- reducing tensions among communities hosting Syrian refugees in Lebanon;
“- supporting the implementation of Colombia’s peace process;
“- supporting anti-Daesh coalition efforts and stabilization operations in Iraq, among others;
“- expert deployments, for which $17 million per year has been allocated; they will include the deployment of Canadian police officers, managed in conjunction with Public Safety Canada and the RCMP through the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations program, as well as the deployment of civilian experts for technical support to external organizations or for rapid response to crises and natural disasters.”
In other words, countries targeted by U.S. imperialism will receive Canadian militarized police agents, spies and other security officers and this is called peacekeeping.
Canada’s role in “peace operations” will be a “whole-of-government effort,” using “the full range of Canada’s military and police as well as other capabilities in integrated responses.” It is telling that when speaking about the “whole of government effort” the government mentions the military and police only. This is another indication that with this program Canada is at the disposal of those who want the United Nations to be reformed in a manner that violates its founding Charter so as to serve the contention of the big powers to ensure that international conflicts are resolved in their favour.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion gave a tortured explanation of why Canada must line up behind new U.S. imperialist interventions around the world:
“Now, more than ever, is the time for our country to choose engagement over isolation, a time to redouble our combined efforts to address the world’s toughest challenges, from complex emergencies to climate change and security. Based on our unparalleled experience in building a peaceful and inclusive society, our bilingualism and our diversity, Canada will do what is needed to support the international community in bravely fighting for justice and security on the global stage; in promoting humanitarian assistance, development, training and capacity building; and in protecting gender equality and all human rights.”
Canada’s “unparalleled experience in building a peaceful and inclusive society” is an age-old fraud of the Liberals to cover up the experience in Canada of state-organized racist and fascist attacks, repression of the workers’ resistance as well as the resistance of the people of Quebec and Indigenous nations. Since U.S. President Obama declared in the Canadian Parliament that “the world needs more Canada,” the Liberals have drunk the kool-aid and are beginning to believe their own lies.
Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale gave his own perverse twist to promote the deployment of RCMP to interfere in the affairs of other countries and peoples. “Peacekeeping has been a long-standing tradition for Canada, and we are taking concrete steps to build a more secure world through police participation in international peace support and stabilization missions. The RCMP, in collaboration with officers from police forces across the country, will help strengthen local policing, improve security and build capacity in fragile and conflict-affected states,” he said.
Is this the kind of peacekeeping Goodale thinks Canadians want? Do the Liberals think that Canadians see problems faced by other peoples around the world and think that if they only had Canadian police things would be better? Is that the experience of Canadians? Goodale is no doubt aware of the actions of police in Canada to organize terror plots today and in the past, their abuses against Indigenous women; as well as abuse and killing of Canadians at the hands of police. Goodale is also surely aware of the Sûreté du Québec officers accused of sexual misconduct while on duty in Haiti as UN peacekeepers, where the Police Commissioner of the illegitimate UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is an RCMP officer. Is this the kind of local policing they will help strengthen?
The Trudeau Liberals’ new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program is another attempt to eke out an existence in international affairs. Canada’s “voice on the world stage” is based on better serving U.S. imperialist aims in the countries it has targeted for regime change, destabilization and domination. Now is the time for Canadians to step up their demands that Canada actively oppose the use of force to settle conflicts in international affairs.
Source: TML Weekly Information Project, August 27, 2016 – No. 33