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Peacemaking, Not Peacekeeping

Heroes Remember

Peacemaking, Not Peacekeeping

Canada is not the peacekeeping nation the Canadians have in their minds. We haven't done classical peacekeeping for years. We're somewhere down thirty-six, or forty in the, in the list of nations that supply peacekeeping people. We participated in, in lots and lots of UN missions, but some of them now, if you look at, at maps on the wall in the UN, there's little pins that says where everybody is, and where the Canadians are, some of those are missions of, of one person, you know, it just, it's liaison. It's not to say they're not doing a good job, and it's not important, but that's not what the Canadian Forces is doing now outside of Canada. Outside of Canada, the Canadian Forces is involved in, in peacemaking or peace enforcement. And if you're talking about peacemaking and peace enforcement, you're really talking about war fighting. What the folks are doing in Afghanistan right now is absolutely not peacekeeping in any way shape or form. They're going out, going out every day, especially where they're at now, they're going out every day fully ready, equipped, trained, with rules of engagement for full-scale combat, and that's the only thing that they can do. If we try to apply peace time rules of engagement to a war time scenario, we will hurt our people. Chances are, we will probably lose one or two in Afghanistan. I mean, no matter how good your, your rules of engagement training and equipment and so on are, if you're facing a determined foe, which we are, and it's a shadowy foe in Afghanistan, the chances are we are gonna lose some folks and that's, you know, that's an unfortunate part of the equation, but if we are going to play the role that we should play in the community of nations, we've got to be prepared to do that. The Canadian Forces clearly understands that now. General Hillier, the new Chief of Defence Staff, has a good grasp of that. More and more Canadians, I think, are realizing that because more and more Canadians have friends and relatives or family who are there or have been there and tell them about it. So, they do understand this is not peacekeeping. The world is not a peaceable place anymore and we have to be prepared to, to share that load and we are, not as robustly as we have in the past, or as, as I think we should, but hopefully that'll improve.

Mr. Hawn differentiates between the terms 'peacekeeping' and 'peacemaking', using Canada's role in Afghanistan as an example.

Laurie Hawn

Mr. Hawn was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1947. After finishing High School, Mr. Hawn opted to join the Air Force in order to further his education, with an ultimate goal of becoming a pilot. At the age of 18, Mr. Hawn flew for the first time, and by the age of 19 he became a flight instructor. First with T-Birds (T33's), then with Starfighters (CF104's). After instructing for 5 years in Cold Lake, Alberta, in April 1972, Mr. Hawn accepted a 3 ½ year posting with NATO in West Germany. After finishing his tour in West Germany, Mr. Hawn returned to flight instructing in Cold Lake, but was regularly posted to West Germany for a few weeks at a time. In 1988, Mr. Hawn was made Commanding Officer of 416 squadron. He held the position for 2 years, relinquishing it only weeks before the start of the first Gulf War, having only just stepped down, Mr. Hawn severely disappointed when he was not chosen to accompany the squadron when posted to Iraq. After a 30 year career, Mr. Hawn retired from the service. He now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Laurie Hawn
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Peacekeeping/Peacemaking in West Germany
Air Force
416 Squadron

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