By Edwin Daniel Jacob, George Mason University

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Image Credit: Richard Clark

Another anniversary of 9/11 has passed. Yet our analysis of this event remains as underdeveloped now as it was in 2001. This short intervention offers critical reflections on what constituted 9/11 and its aftermath and concludes by providing suggestions for its critical pedagogical presentation in the classroom.

9/11 put the Middle East on the map. Prior to this century’s Pearl Harbor, acts of jihadi terror (with the exception of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) were confined to America’s overseas assets. Attacks in the nineties and early 2000s — from the 1992 Yemen Hotel Bombings and the 1993 car bomb in Riyadh to the coordinated attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 — gave American policy makers, media pundits, and the population at large the sense that modern political terrorism was a minor nuisance. …


By Anne Runciman

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Image Credit: Freepik

It would be uncontroversial to say that the nature of warfare has shifted drastically since the end of the Second World War. Warfare, once so heavily associated with physical combat on air, land, and sea, has since expanded into a number of different fields, notably information and cyberspace. Increasingly computing, robotics and artificial intelligence have played a prominent role in military strategy. So much so that in recent years the term “battlefield” has given way to the term “battlespace.” …


By Michael Ragotte

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Supporters of Cameroonian President Paul Biya outside the French embassy in Yaounde. Getty Images/AFP

On the 17th of June, Canada lost the vote for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a three-way race against Norway and Ireland. This marks a significant step backwards within the Trudeau government’s ‘Canada is Back’ strategy, which involved committing to greater engagement with the UN. Now that the government failed to become a member of this influential body, how can Canada continue to engage in the world?

Between 1963 and 1971 Canada muddled through the difficult process of investigating bilingualism and biculturalism through a Royal Commission. This process influenced the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, where francophone linguistic and cultural rights were set in stone. This experience taught Canada a valuable lesson regarding the difficult process of bridging divides. It is with this knowledge and the need for the country to assert itself in the world, that Canada should act as a mediator within the Cameroon anglophone separatist crisis. …


By Nicholas R.K Thompson

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Image Credit: Canadian Army Today

Editor’s note. This piece touches on a growing theme within defence and security circles: the increased strain of domestic operational demand upon a force that has traditionally been expeditionary in nature. Moreover, as much of the domestic operational demand stems from our rapidly changing climate [as discussed in our post by Steve Macbeth last year], we are seeing clear trends in what these domestic operations seem to entail. This theme is something we are watching closely.

COVID-19 has brought the topic of domestic emergency preparedness to the forefront of conversations surrounding public policy worldwide. Canadian defence policy is not immune to this change in dialogue. This new conversation not only highlights Operation LASER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) response to the pandemic, but also the more commonly invoked Operation LENTUS, the CAF’s response mechanism to domestic requests for emergency assistance following natural disasters. This increased focus may lead some to pick up on a key observation — that Operation LENTUS has in recent years experienced rapid growth in operational demand. With the effects of climate change becoming ever more real, numerous natural disasters have led provincial governments to request CAF assistance. With over 2,000 military personnel having engaged in Operation LENTUS in 2019 alone, it is no longer reasonable to fulfill LENTUS’ operational requirements on an ad-hoc basis. …


By Jane Boulden

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The United Nations Security Council hears a briefing at UN headquarters in New York, US, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

On 17 June, Canada lost its campaign for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021–2022 term. The desire to get a seat on the Council has its origins in Prime Minister Trudeau’s first election victory, which prompted him to announce that Canada was back on the world stage. The pursuit of a Security Council seat was a central tenet in Trudeau’s efforts to make Canada a prominent player in international institutions once again. The loss was a blow for Trudeau in that he cannot point to the achievement of a Security Council seat as symbolic evidence of the completion of his “we’re back” statement. …


By Michael P. A. Murphy

This post is an adaption of the article “COVID-19 and Emergency eLearning: Consequences of the Securitization of Higher Education for Post-Pandemic Pedagogy,” published in Contemporary Security Policy in April of this year. Find it here.

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Image Credit: Times Higher Education

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ rhetorical framing of the worldwide efforts to limit the spread and toll of COVID-19 as a “war” has received great attention in the academic blogosphere: he was neither the first nor the last public figure to frame the COVID-19 response this way. Though the “war metaphor” is commonly deployed in public discourse, serious concerns have been raised about the appropriateness of calling hospitals the frontlines and doctors the soldiers. Cynthia Enloe argues that the rhetorical framing of the COVID-19 response as a war ignores the destructive and oppressive consequences of World War Two at home and abroad, and calls on a collective resistance to “the seductive allure of rose-tinted militarization.”


By Andrew J. Furlan

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US President Donald Trump arrives to attend the NATO summit in Brussels, on July 11, 2018. Image Credit: Brendan Simalowski, Getty Images.

The malicious virus of mistrust may already have infected The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase its lethality. The success of NATO, an alliance built upon the collective defence, relies on trust — each member-state must believe that the others will fulfil their treaty obligations. Yet by publicly casting aspersions at NATO, United States (US) President Donald Trump has raised doubts regarding the US’s commitment to the organization. Unable to rely upon the alliance’s lynchpin member-state, French President Emmanuel Macron ominously declared in November that NATO was experiencing “brain death.” Noting the alliance’s precarious position made me think: how might the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbate this mistrust? …


By Anna McAlpine and H. Christian Breede

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Cell tower fires north of Montreal in early May. Image Credit: CTV News

In February, long before the WHO described COVID-19 as a pandemic, the organization used the word infodemic — an overabundance of information — to describe how the crisis was playing out online; this descriptor remains accurate. As the curve begins to flatten, provincial governments are slowly providing businesses and individuals with more liberty. The problem with leaving decisions in the hands of Canadians is that no amount of physical distancing can tackle an infodemic and the twin diseases of disinformation and misinformation will continue to infect the information Canadians have available as they make decisions. As our leaders begin draft strategies for loosening regulation and reopening our economy, it is crucial that disinformation and misinformation be dealt with so that Canadians can make the best decisions possible as we create our new normal. While frequently used interchangeably, disinformation and misinformation are indeed different terms. While disinformation is the deliberate creation and propagation of false, fraudulent, or otherwise fake content, misinformation is the unknowing propagation of disinformation by others. Disinformation can come from actors like the Internet Research Agency in Saint Petersburg. …


By Bibi Imre-Millei

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All images author’s own.

I walked through the Canadian War Museum backwards. Before reaching the LeBretton Gallery of military technology I walked past the fuselages of WWII aircraft, painted with cartoons, slogans, victory markings, and the naked bodies of women. In Regeneration Hall, as statues cast for Vimy Ridge looked down on me, another volunteer pointed to Charles Sims’ Sacrifice on top of the staircase and remarked: “You won’t ever see another painting from the First World War with that many women.” Stepping into the main exhibition hall, his words were fresh in my mind.

As someone immersed in research on women and gender in the military on a daily basis, I was immediately struck by the nature (and at time outright lack) of women’s representation at the Canadian War Museum. The goal of reaching 25% women in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) by 2026 is lagging, and the target is not likely to be hit. The CAF’s focus is on the combat arms, where the numbers of women are lowest. Simulation training programs, advertising campaigns, and direct outreach in schools, as well as unit level measures, are the main lines of effort for recruiting women. However, none of this will matter unless the CAF works on building an identity that is consistently inclusive, and the Canadian War Museum is a great place to start. …


By Julian Mattachione, Queen’s University

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British Prime Minister Tony Blair (on the left) and the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern sign the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998. (Image Credit: BBC News)

Northern Ireland faces an uneasy peace. Centuries of conflict, division, and imperialism have left wounds not easily healed. Throughout the 20th century, Northern Ireland was consumed by an asymmetric, low-level civil conflict. An ethnonationalist war was fought between Republican factions seeking to unify Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, against Loyalists who wanted to keep Northern Ireland in union with Britain. …

About

Centre for International and Defence Policy

The CIDP is part of the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and is one of Canada’s most active research centres on international security.

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