I am just back from a phenomenal conference on UN Air Operations put together by Professor Walter Dorn and Major Bill March. The highlight of that event was Senator Romeo Dallaire, LtGen (Ret), author of Shake Hands with the Devil as well as the more recent They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children.
Here are my notes on points made by Senator Dallaire, followed by some additional personal views of my own with respect to the future of the UN, NATO, and regional organizations long overdue as stewards of their respective regions peace and prosperity.
+ Drawing on history we can project into the future (not in a linear fashion, but from an informed foundation). We need to do both, we cannot go on as we are with our short-term perspective.
+ We must achieve a communion of humanity in the larger context of the planet as a whole–this is a grand strategic vision in which nation-states are actually limiting elements.
+ National and regional planning must be integrated into a larger global planning and forecasting process; we must go global.
+ The will to intervene in important, and should be but is not, common sense. Refugees and displaced persons are vectors for disease and root sources of rage.
+ Canada is a leading middle power, one of eleven, that can do more.
+ Lacking today is a concept of operations for conflict prevention and resolution.
+ We have entered a time of revolution in which it is now clear to the majority, both rich and poor, that the status quo is unsustainable and cannot be seen as anything other than a new world disorder.
+ The persistent elements that we are working with and must do better with can be summed up at Human Security, the Environment, and Information, all in the context of the Internet.
+ Deductive reasoning is not adequate because the world is changing so fast and in such different directions that extrapolating from the past or even from what can be perceived, is inadequate to challenges of change.
+ The scale of threats, challenge, and change is global–we are simply not understanding or acting intelligently at the scale of bodies, the scale of injured, the scale of hungry, the scale of homeless.
+ QUOTE: “We can be incredibly inept.”
+ The Cold War justified 2.5 million uniformed troops on our side, many of them resident in Europe, but we are unwilling to field 44,ooo to 250,000 uniformed peacekeepers.
+ We are overrun with ethical, moral, and legal dilemmas.
– Do we negotiate with militias outside the rule of law?
– Do we kill childrn who kill–child soldiers?
– Do we respect sovereignty while ignoring crimes against humanity?
QUOTE: “Sovereignty has been an excuse for no action.”
+ Belligerents do not play by our rules.
+ Ambiguity and complexity are the norm.
+ Mandates and missions are not flexible enough for reality-based accomplishment.
+ We have three options: survive it, build a wall, or resolve it at source.
QUOTE: “Canada is built on the assuption that there is no internal threat.”
+ What happens when the diaspora can destroy electrical towers, bridges, dams, right here, all undefended?
+ We need the will to intervene
– Absense of political will
– Absence of compelling sense of self-interest
– Fear of casualties
– Lack of leaders versus managers (clerks)
– Lack of accountability–inaction is an action
+ Responsibility to Protect (R2P) invented in Canada in 2001, accepted generally in 2005
+ R2P needs to be operationalized–institutionalized–continuously available as needed and on demand.
+ NGOs will be the most significant voice of humanity.
+ VISION: Smart power, soft & robust power, leading middle powers as hub.
+ CONCERN: Cannot treat humans (belligerents, victims, or rescuers) as spare parts. PTSD is an injury not a disease.
+ CALL TO ACTION:
– Support NGOs
– Encourage academic engagement
– Get involved in the field
– Become an activist
+ WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
– Intelligence-led peacekeeping, like intelligence-led policing, certainly one path.
– Must be proactive and preventive
– Need to develop the sharing paradigm
– Regional capabilities needed
– Must overcome dumbing down of the public, raise a whole new generation
+ PREDICTION: NGOs will consolidate and cooperate
Robert Steele: I redid my planned briefing that night, and it is clear that LtGen Dallaire and I are on the same page. M4IS2 (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making) is the key to the future, and I believe that regional multinational centres (one for each region, e.g. one for the Union of South American Countries (UNASUR), one for the African Union (AU), and so on. I also believe regional contingency forces, rather than NATO, will be the desired alternative when force of arms are needed. Both the UN and NATO are in the process of adapting (UN) or not-adapting (NATO) to the future. I personally believe NATO should be scrapped in favor of more agile and open alternatives, including a standing Peace Force that integrates all eight tribes of information and uses shared M4IS2 to harmonize, recognizing that “command & control” is an archaic term inappropriate to the needs of today and the near-term future. The next major global event for discussion of new approaches for the future is the Inter-Faith Summit at Assisi (Italy) in October 2011. All evidence suggests that it will be a prayer meeting, not a meeting on the substance of defeating secular corruption and restoring our humanity to create a prosperous world at peace.