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Peace defended by those willing to wage war

Published in the Barrie AdvanceĀ 

27 May 2010

A lot of people subscribe to the fanciful myth that Canada is a “peacekeeper nation” which is a load of bunk.

Have you ever heard of Canada’s contributions to the South African War, WWI, WWII, Korea or the first Gulf War? Peacekeeping, like world peace, is an ideal situation, but the reality is wars are waged and even if peace is achieved, it is often held together by militaries prepared to go to war to defend that peace.

A good example is the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia, a full-fledged peacekeeping mission. In September 1993, troops from the
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI), fought in the first sustained battle fought by Canadians since the Korean War.

I am talking about Operation Medak Pocket, where Canadians were among the best armed troops at UNPROFOR’s disposal. This 14-day battle, in which 27 Croatian Army members were killed or wounded, earned two PPCLI the Commander-in-Chief’s Unit Commendation in 2002 for their bravery. Sadly, this battle was not well publicized at the time, perhaps owing to Canada’s image as a “peacekeeper nation.”

Peacekeeping does come with a price, as evidenced by the memorial wall at Peacekeepers’ Park in Calgary, Alberta, where the names of the more than 120 Canadian military men and
women and diplomats killed on peacekeeping missions are inscribed.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/peace-defended-by-those-willing-to-wage-war/

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