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January 8, 2020

Interview on CBC Radio, 8 January 2020.

June 1, 2015

International Relations 29:2 (June 2015), pp. 139-176

Abstract:  How do foreign actors involved in ‘regime change’ decide which kinds of domestic governance structures to promote in place of the regimes they have deposed? Most of the literature on foreign-imposed regime change assumes that interveners make such decisions based on rational calculations of expected utility. This article, by contrast, contends that interveners are predisposed to promote political arrangements that correspond to their own governance ‘schemas’, or taken-for-granted assumptions about the nature of political authority.

https://static.wixstatic.com/ugd/dd9c01_6ee418ee8e99473098733e1eae4883aa.pdf



 

January 30, 2015

CIPS Blog

For Parts 2 and 3 of this CIPS debate, see the posts by Thomas Juneau and Philippe Lagassé.

Published in the Globe and Mail, January 29, 2015
 

We recently learned that Canadian troops in Iraq are spending about 20 per cent of their effort close to, or right at, the front lines, that they have been calling in air strikes from those front-line positions, and that three firefights have occurred between Canadian forces and Islamic State fighters.
 

The parliamentary resolution that established the mission last October indicated that Canadian forces would not engage in ground combat operations. Chief of the Defence Staff Tom Lawson and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have acknowledged that there has been a shift in the nature of the Iraq mission, but insist that Canadian forces are still performing only an “advise and assist” function, not a combat role. They also point out, correctly, that Canadian troops have a right to defend themselves if they are fired upon.
 

A series of incre...

January 29, 2015

Globe and Mail

We recently learned that Canadian troops in Iraq are spending about 20 per cent of their effort close to, or right at, the front lines, that they have been calling in air strikes from those front-line positions, and that three firefights have occurred between Canadian forces and Islamic State fighters.

The parliamentary resolution that established the mission last October indicated that Canadian forces would not engage in ground combat operations. Chief of the Defence Staff Tom Lawson and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have acknowledged that there has been a shift in the nature of the Iraq mission, but insist that Canadian forces are still performing only an “advise and assist” function, not a combat role. They also point out, correctly, that Canadian troops have a right to defend themselves if they are fired upon.

There is no universally-accepted, bright-line definition of “combat,” but common sense suggests the following: (1) If you send armed troops to front-line po...

January 26, 2015

CIPS Blog

In a new CIPS policy brief on Canada’s war in Iraq, Roland Paris addresses the following questions:

 

  • Is Canada engaged in ground combat?

  • Have we witnessed mission creep?

  • Why should Canada (and other Western countries) limit their participation in ground combat in Iraq?

  • Don’t Canadian trainers need to accompany Iraqi forces to the front lines in order to perform their ‘advise and assist’ role?

  • If there are no front lines in the Iraq war, does it make sense to talk about training Iraqi forces ‘away’ from the front lines?

  • Is Canada doing enough to support the training of Iraqi forces?

  • Should Canada renew its six-month mission in April?

  • Should Canada continue its air combat mission?

  • Beyond deploying combat forces, what else could Canada do to address the problem of violent extremism int he world?
     

Read the full policy brief



Paris also addressed many of these questions in a debate on TVO’s The Agenda on Friday, January 23.

 

September 13, 2014

CIPS Blog

President Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday marks the third major shift in United States counterterrorism strategy since 9/11, but it remains to be seen if the new approach will work better than the previous ones.

The first shift followed the 9/11 attacks, when George W. Bush launched what became known as the Global War on Terror. The main elements of this strategy included forcible regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq; mass deployment of US and allied ground forces to both countries; a global hunt for suspected Al Qaeda operatives and their incarceration in secret “black” prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency or in the US military facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” ordered by President Bush; and enormous growth in the domestic and foreign surveillance apparatus of the US and other Western countries.

The second shift occurred when Barack Obama took office. He had campaigned on ending the “dumb war” in Iraq and on con...

March 20, 2013

Globe and Mail

In the weeks leading up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq a decade ago, a number of prominent Canadian commentators and political figures warned of dire consequences to Canada-U.S. relations if this country failed to join the American-led coalition. As it turned out, however, the U.S. administration quickly got over Jean Chrétien’s decision to keep Canada out of the war and the American public, for its part, barely seemed to notice Canada’s stance.

In recent days, we have been reminded of the letter that Stephen Harper, then the leader of the opposition, sent to The Wall Street Journal criticizing Mr. Chrétien’s decision and declaring that it was “manifestly in the national interest of Canada” to participate in the invasion. Yet Mr. Harper was far from alone – many others at the time also insisted that the decision would inflict profound and lasting harm to Canada-U.S. relations.

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne, for example, was one of these commentators. In late...

February 2, 2008

Literary Review of Canada

An optimistic look at the longer view for this war-torn country

In May 2006, two enterprising Canadian diplomats organized an international conference to discuss the crisis in Iraq and its possible solutions. Given the political sensitivity of this topic and the Harper government's willingness to muzzle its own officials, just gaining ministerial approval to hold such a meeting seems like an extraordinary accomplishment. But then again, the two meeting organizers were far from ordinary. David Malone, a denizen of these pages and a scholar of the United Nations, is currently Canada's high commissioner to India. He was, in 2006, the senior official in charge of "global issues" in the Ottawa headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ben Rowswell, a 30-something Oxford graduate and rising star in the department, was sent to Baghdad to serve as Canada's one-man diplomatic mission following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Two years later, he returned t...

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

rparis@uottawa.ca

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@rolandparis

© Roland Paris 2020