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More useful role for Canada than air strikes says RI President

In From Other Parts by Michael Rae

The Prime Minister of Canada must live up to the promise he made during the election campaign, and which he included in the mandate letter to his Minister of Defence, and forthwith end Canadian air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
Despite this unequivocal commitment, reiterated by the PM to the President of the United States in their first conversation after the election, Canada continues to engage in air strikes and, unbelievably, even increased the tempo over the Christmas holiday period.
Since the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris in November, there has been an incessant drumbeat in the media that Canada should reverse its decision to end air strikes, as if the decision was based on a misunderstanding of the threat posed by Islamic State, rather than on a determination that Canada could play a more useful role in other ways.
RI President Peggy Mason wrote about a more effective role for Canada in an article for the Canadian International Council on December 11th, 2015. In light of the continued Canadian bombing, we are reposting that article below.

Bombing and training are both problematic
The United States alone can easily handle all militarily useful airstrike targets against ISIS. Participation by others is therefore symbolic and token at best. While in the case of Arab states, this might at least have been useful — in that it would weaken the idea that this is a war between the West and Islam — those coalition members have abandoned their bombing in Iraq and Syria in favour of decimating the already utterly impoverished country

http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/category/blog/

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With or without pipelines, Canadian oil production will continue to grow

In Opinion, Research, Transport by Michael Rae

Montreal, February 1st, 2016 – While the debate rages on regarding the Energy East project, the MEI points out that even in a scenario in which absolutely no new pipelines are built, oil production in the country will increase significantly from now until 2040, as the National Energy Board (NEB) stipulated

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Why peacebuilding fails and what we can do about it

In From Other Parts by Michael Rae

According to a recent UN report, violent conflicts have almost tripled in the past eight years and are drawing unprecedented levels of international engagement. In light of the unfolding events in Syria, Burundi, and many other conflict-afflicted countries, it is of utmost importance that we think about what makes peacebuilding interventions work and how we can avoid counterproductive or ineffective practices. And it is particularly relevant for Canada today in light of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to re-engage in UN peace operations.
In a previous blog post, we highlighted research demonstrating that UN peacekeeping missions, on balance, have a good track record.  But we know all too well that if peacebuilding fails, the costs can be tremendous. Numerous post-conflict countries have relapsed into war despite peacebuilding efforts, sometimes even after a prolonged pause, and sometimes with even greater levels of violence. Many in the humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding, and international development community are thus looking for success stories—and for good reason.
While it is mostly agreed that in order to be more effective, peacebuilding interventions require more financial, logistical, and human resources, there is a growing consensus that local ownership is a key element of success. External interveners, especially UN personnel, are well aware of this. Nonetheless, far too often they have a tendency to live in a bubble, where they interact mostly with other expatriates and lack contact with host populations, which directly works against local ownership.
This, at least, is the argument put forward by Séverine Autesserre, researcher and associate professor at

http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/category/blog/

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Peggy Mason on Canada being shut out of the anti-ISIS coalition meeting Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason discusses the reasons behind Canada not being invited to the anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris on 20 January.

In From Other Parts by Michael Rae

An anti-ISIS coalition meeting took place in Paris on 20 January. Defence ministers from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the Netherlands joined U.S. Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter to discuss the future of the fight against ISIS. Canada has not been invited to the meeting. Read more at:

http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/category/blog/