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Zahar: Should Canada’s military support the intervention in Mali?

By: /
15 January, 2013
By: Marie-Joëlle Zahar
Professor of political science, Université de Montréal

Even though our government may not want to put troops on the ground (or in the air) in Mali, we need to be involved in some way. Canada cannot continue to claim that state fragility is a threat to our basic values and foreign policy objectives and remain on the margins when a situation develops that threatens not just a state but an entire region of the world. Because of geographic proximity, Europe is more directly concerned and that might provide a justification for the dispatching of European rather than Canadian forces in support of the Malian army. However, we could (and arguably
should) rev up our support to capacity-building programs intended to provide African states with the capacity to deal with security problems on the continent. Instead, in the past two years, the government of Canada has brought its financial support of such programs to an abrupt end.

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