Author Topic: The Canadian Peacekeeping Myth (Merged Topics)  (Read 221206 times)

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Offline Boogilywoo

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The Canadian Peacekeeping Myth (Merged Topics)
« on: April 22, 2005, 00:24:26 »
Hey guys.

I have to write an essay for my history class at school. The topic is on Canada and Peacekeeping. Im supposed to argue the cons of the subject. I was wondering if the mighty brainmeats of the Army.ca forums could give me a hand. Do any of you have any knowledge, or any arguments as to why peacekeeping is bad for Canada?

Thanks in advance guys. Appreciate it.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 14:40:28 by kratz »

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 00:28:15 »
Perhaps take the approach that it's indirectly bad as opposed to directly bad... the public seems to think that the only thing we do/should do is peacekeeping... which heavily detracts from our ability to train and make ready for war, and effectively employ our assets in such a manner.

 
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 00:31:16 »
Why is too much Peacekeeping bad?  It takes away from our primary function.
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Offline TCBF

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 00:37:29 »
"could give me a hand. Do any of you have any knowledge, or any arguments as to why peacekeeping is bad for Canada?"

We have actually done very little of it.   If you alot our resources by person years from the end of WW2 until the present day, the bulk of our resources were spent on North American security (NORAD/SOVOPS/Maritime Patrolling/SigInt) or NATO (Bde/Air div in   Europe, and other Bdes/assetts trg to deploy in support).

The fact is, When we had 88,000 people, few were in Cyprus/Golan/Whatever.   Yugo upped the ratio, but then later Yugo tours were not Blue Beret peacekeeping, nor was Kosovo, Kandahar, or Kabul.

The numbers don't lie.   It'a great sales pitch, but we all know it's a joke.
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Offline paracowboy

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2005, 00:39:07 »
this was originally a response I wrote to a 'journalist' who wrote an article/editorial on Peacekeeping. He was well-meaning, but somewhat naive (as most Liberal-types are). It was too long to be published. But I've decided it needs to see the light of day (mostly because the damn thing took so long to type out). The opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Army.ca or it's members. (Just the ones who agree with me. You know, the common-sense ones.  ;D 

Despite the Politically Correct spin that has continuously been put on the subject, Canada does not maintain her armed forces for â Å“peacekeeping operationsâ ?. The mission of the Canadian Forces is to engage in war fighting. Combat, full stop. Hopefully, always overseas. Canada needs her military to maintain it's offensive abilities in order to protect Canadians from war. In all likelihood, (and I fervently hope) not another World War, but it's certainly probable that conflicts in other countries will require Canada's military to respond yet again. Canada, with her deeply-held convictions about morality and it's obligations, will always want to do her part. And rightfully so. It's what makes me proud to be a Canadian, and to wear her uniform.

However, â Å“Peacekeepingâ ? as originally envisioned by Lester Pearson, was the last casualty of the Cold War. It was cremated in the ashes of Srebrenica. It was left to rot alongside the bodies of thousands of innocents in Rwanda. It was buried in the ruins of the World Trade Centre. Try as they may, those who wish otherwise cannot exhume and reanimate its corpse.

It has since been replaced by security operations, such as those in Afghanistan, and counter- (or, better yet, pre-emptive) strikes against terrorists, brigands, and rogue states. These are not peacekeeping missions. They are â Å“stability campaignsâ ? (or whatever the phrase du jour may be) and they require aggressive military operations (and aggressive military personnel), whether it be to remove tyrannical regimes or to disarm lawless and powerful warlords. Too, it must be mentioned that Canada has recently engaged in conventional combat operations - in Kosovo in 1999 and in Afghanistan in 2002 - operating under NATO in the former, and with a U.S.-led coalition in the latter. Neither of which, let me remind you, gentle reader, was a â Å“U.N. sanctionedâ ? Peacekeeping mission.

Peacekeeping was born of the Cold War: Joint task-forces replacing out-and-out combat forces, on the belief that belligerents could be separated, thereby allowing diplomats and lawyers to step in and resolve the conflict. That worked fine on paper. In practice, however, resolutions remained hard to pin down and peace was kept only so long as all parties accepted the continuing presence of a neutralizing authority. Witness the decades-long Peacekeeping presence in Cypress, and the continued presence of Peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

This is not to say that â Å“Peacekeepingâ ? (or whatever term the High and Mighty wish to impose on such actions) are no longer necessary today. Quite the opposite. The cost of not imposing the Rule of Law in places like Rwanda, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Somalia, Ethiopia, etc, cannot be underestimated. Complete cultures have been destroyed, young boys are shanghaied into child-armies, and women (both ancient and pre-pubescent) are being gang-raped by animals in human form forcibly spreading their ethnic seed in order to â Å“breed outâ ? other tribes. Entire nations today are living in a Post-Traumatic Stress induced nightmare. Add to this the ever-present shadow cast by Islamic terrorism, (whether sponsored by private individuals, organizations, or states,) and the world becomes a scary, scary place.

â ?Peacekeepingâ ? now, though, has become a catchall, touchy-feely phrase whose definition (or lack thereof, rather) means it can be applied to anything from peacekeeping, to peacemaking, to policing to war zones, and whatever other dirty little task is required. The bottom line remains the same, however. Peacekeeping today means imposing order on people. It means troops on the ground saying: â Å“Love thy neighbour, or I'll kill you.â ? And, all the time, they have to keep an eye out for those on both (or more) sides who intend to shoot them first. Or blow them up with a homemade belt of explosives.

I defy anyone to explain the difference between a modern â Å“peacekeepingâ ? mission and a D-Day style liberation invasion, to the man with his belly in the dirt dodging incoming rounds. To him, a bullet is a bullet, and whether it's fired by the child-soldier of an African army of brigands, or the highly trained commando of a â Å“civilisedâ ? enemy nation, makes no difference. To him, dead is dead. The only way he will survive is to aggressively close with and destroy his enemy, by any means available to him.

â ?Peacekeepersâ ? did not defeat the dictatorship in Iraq, did not overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan, and will not defeat the racist, genocidal regime in Sudan. â Å“Peacekeepersâ ? will not defeat the narco-terrorists in Colombia, the LRA in Uganda, or the Janjaweed in Sudan. â Å“Peacekeepersâ ? did not free the British servicemen held in Sierra Leone. The threat of â Å“Peacekeepersâ ? will not persuade Iran, Syria or North Korea to abandon their weapon programs, and did not convince Libya to abandon theirs. â Å“Peacekeepersâ ? are not hunting Al Qaeda, the Abu Sayyaf Group, or the dozens of other terrorist groups spreading chaos and their perversions of Islam.

Yet, Canadians still have a pie-in-the-sky, ivory-tower notion about peacekeeping. When Canadians say they want Canada to have an â Å“armyâ ?, what they really mean is an â Å“armyâ ? of peacekeepers. Our political leaders (and here I use the term in it's loosest possible definition) and the media need to disabuse the Canadian public of this balderdash and poppycock (stuff and nonsense?). We need to replace the lily-white myth of â Å“peacekeepingâ ? with the mud slogging, grinding truth. A peacekeeper in Kabul today is the same thing a war-fighting soldier was in Nazi-occupied France 60 years ago: an infantryman. A tired soldier on the ground, with a pair of dirty boots, a clean rifle, and the will to use it. A man who is willing to fight for peace, and who doesn't worry about the philosophical conundrum such a statement makes. A man who does what he does, so that others will not have to.

Fostering the myth of peacekeeping is not in the best interests of our nation as a whole, or the Canadian Forces in particular. Peacekeeping (by any name) is important, true, but Canada must be capable of waging war, in order to protect (or impose) peace. We could once
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Offline Boogilywoo

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2005, 09:15:10 »
That was very good paracowboy. Thank you.

These are pretty good arguments that I can probably use.

Offline spacelord

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Re: Canada and Peacekeeping
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2005, 11:37:55 »
I'd reccommend the Article Give War A Chance by Edward N. Luttwak. It can be found here.  Luttwak has some interesting stuff to say.

http://isuisse.ifrance.com/emmaf/base/give_war_a_chance.html
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Offline jerrythunder

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Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2005, 19:52:43 »
Hi there, ive been watching the news latley and ive seen some comentaries done on whether the canadian forces should be used for peacekeeping only or have an expanded role. Obviously this comes in the wake of the operation going on in Afganistan where were sending our boys to hunt down those terrorist tangos. what are your thoughts on this? should we just stick to peacekeeping and defence? or should we play a more major offensive role?
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2005, 20:10:01 »
The mission to Afghanistan has more than one component:

"¢   It is classical peacekeeping plus - securing the place so that we, the big 'we' including Canadains, can help the Afghan people to rebuild their own society so that they can enjoy the blessings of their lands and fruits of their labours (as an old naval prayer defines peace); and

"¢   It is, in a broader sense, an entirely defensive operation.  Afghanistan was turned into a haven, a base (that (base) is what al Qaeda means, actually) where and from which certain movements which have declared war upon the liberal, democratic, secular West, were able to arm, organize train and launch attacks.  We need to prevent that from happening again.

I understand that many, many Canadians, probably a huge, overwhelming majority - which would include 99% of teachers and journalists and other 'experts' have no useful knowledge of what a military does or why nations should maintain military forces.  Peacekeeping, as the 99% understand it, never makes the cut: it is not the primary job of any armed force, including Canada's.

Listen to General Hillier.  He understands the business.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline KevinB

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2005, 20:12:56 »
I'd rather be wacking Tango's   ;)

 True Peacekeeping has never worked -- Look at what the UN is doign now in Africa - it seems to be learning...

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LEW054468.htm

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More than 1,000 Guatemalan special forces soldiers, Pakistani commandos and Congolese government troops were airlifted to a hill-top rebel headquarters, which they searched for weapons and then torched to the ground on Wednesday.

The raid was launched days after some 1,000 rebels had fled into the nearby forests. There were no reports of casualties.

"The general strategy is to put them under a lot of pressure to take them away from the population and to isolate them," Gen. Ali Khan Shujaat, commander of the U.N. Pakistani forces in South Kivu, said as 100 huts were being torched in the rebel camp, 45 km (28 miles) west of the city of Bukavu.

Lot beter than sitting back and watchign the slaughter...
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2005, 20:15:50 »
Also, see paracowboy's comment here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,27.msg242829.html#msg242829

As he says, our forces in Afghanistan are defending Canada.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline SHELLDRAKE!!

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2005, 20:22:20 »
 The fact that you are even asking the question, just strengthens the common idea that we are a peacekeeping army by choice. The fact is that military cuts over the years have reduced our capeabilities to deploying a small number of our forces on peacekeeping missions in order to maintain the illusion we are still the army of WW2/Korea days.

 The common misconception is that Canada is moving towards a peacekeeping role because we make such good peacekeepers. In fact we make good soldiers no matter what our role is.

 How do you think a country requiring peacekeepers would see a military that had no real offensive capeabilities, comming in to referee two waring parties. What would stop them from overrunning us to achieve their means.

 IMHO as long as we can scrape together enough kit to get the mission done, we will always have the will and desire to show the world that we are willing to take a few losses to achieve the mission.
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Offline x-grunt

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2005, 20:23:55 »
What they said.
Do a search for "peacekeeping" on this forum and I think you'll find the answer abundantly clear. The majority all of the people I have read who have posted on this topic say warfighting is our profession. Do the search and read up, it's been discussed ad nauseam.


Offline paracowboy

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2005, 21:31:21 »
Also, see paracowboy's comment here:
ooohh! I HATE that guy! So. Much.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline Britney Spears

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2005, 21:46:32 »
The children who throw the "peacekeeping" thing around have no clue what "peacekeeping" actually is.



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Offline silentbutdeadly

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2005, 21:55:40 »
always seems to be other trades that call it peacekeeping , but the guys on the ground know its warfighting.....strange eh!  :salute:

Offline Dare

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2005, 02:00:52 »
Hi there, ive been watching the news latley and ive seen some comentaries done on whether the canadian forces should be used for peacekeeping only or have an expanded role. Obviously this comes in the wake of the operation going on in Afganistan where were sending our boys to hunt down those terrorist tangos. what are your thoughts on this? should we just stick to peacekeeping and defence? or should we play a more major offensive role?
I think the usage of the term Peace Keeping has been a poor policy move for a long time. The focus of our nations defence forces should be on Peace *Making*. If that means we sit on two beligerants until they simmer down, fine. If that means we pick a side and move in, fine. If that means we decimate a known enemy when challenged, fine. Either way, the term is far more apt and broadly usable. I believe, that the slight change from Peacekeepers to Peacemakers would clarify to the public the C.F. role in society and send a message that "No, we're not neutral. Our national security is paramount, and our operations advance that." The C.F. is usually sent to places where there is litte peace (how can a person keep peace where there is none). Peace is not the absence of war. Peace must be *made*. The name Peacekeeper would be better suited towards to law enforcement in places where peace actually *does* exist.

As for your question. I think that we definitely need to take a more offensive posture to the offenders. In language, and in action. Regardless of what the national media want to paint it as (they can't quite feel their irrelevancy creep up on them yet.)

Offline MCG

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2005, 05:06:57 »
I think the CDS nailed this one:

Quote
'Our job is to be able to kill people,' top soldier says
Stephen Thorne
The Canadian Press
(Printed: Edmonton Journal)
Saturday, July 16, 2005


OTTAWA -- If Canadians were shocked that the head of their military called his enemy "detestable murderers and scumbags," they better get used to it.

Gen. Rick Hillier has never minced words, nor is he likely to start any time soon.

His blunt assessment of terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere this week has the wholehearted backing of the prime minister.

"General Hillier is not only a top soldier, he is a soldier who has served in Afghanistan," Paul Martin said Friday in Nova Scotia.  "The point he is simply making is we are at war with terrorism and we're not going to let them win."

Defence analysts and soldiers alike lauded Hillier's appointment as chief of defence staff earlier this year as a fundamental shift in the Canadian military.

Known as a soldier's soldier, Hillier is the most operationally experienced commander to take the top post in many years, breaking the bureaucratic mould that seemed to dictate many appointments since the Cold War.

One factor in Hillier's promotion was his fearlessness and penchant for calling things as he sees them.

The defence minister was looking for a new vision for the Canadian Forces and, in Hillier, he got it.

A defence policy statement released in April charted a whole new course for defence -- much of it adhering to Hillier's direction.

This week the general held an informal, on-the-record media luncheon. Reporters familiar with Hillier's style barely flinched when he said all elements of the Canadian Forces need to be revamped, including the part where "you go out and bayonet somebody.

"We are not the Public Service of Canada," he declared. "We are not just another department. We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people."

The terrorist bombings in London underscore the need to take the fight to the enemy in failed states where they have room to thrive, said Hillier.

As a Western society that values rights and freedoms, Canada is already in conflict with "what people like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and those others want.

"These are detestable murderers and scumbags," Hillier said. "They detest our freedoms, they detest our society, they detest our liberties."

The Polaris Institute, a left-leaning think-tank based in Ottawa, said the defence minister needs to "clarify" Hillier's "very alarming" comments.

"His use of epithets such as 'scumbags' and 'killers' is reminiscent of language used by (U.S.) President (George W.) Bush and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld," said project director Steven Staples Friday.
For more clarification: follow the link in my sig line.

Offline SHELLDRAKE!!

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2005, 06:07:48 »
 What is it exactly that is so "alarming" about the CDS's statement?? Are they not referred to as terrorists for a reason or are there tree hugging activists in Canada that actually believe the taliban have a right to kill Canadian soldiers and still be free from verbal condemnation. This polaris institute should be doused in naptha, lit on fire with a lit match in a broken glass and then served up to the "possibly offended taliban" that they are so ready to defend.
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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2005, 07:28:53 »
always seems to be other trades that call it peacekeeping , but the guys on the ground know its warfighting.....strange eh!   :salute:

I beg your pardon !!!

I would not be so bold as to make that kind of generalization.  I highly doubt that what i do has anything to do with peacekeeping ( i hate that word).  I used to be one of those guys on the ground so i have seen both sides of the fence and beleive me when i say that we regard ourselves as warfighters just the same as you.

cheers

Offline silentbutdeadly

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2005, 14:02:00 »
Hey no disrespect! from my exp. in trades that support the army within the CMBG sometimes feel this way! but i must admit the hel ops units help out alot with our missions so i don't consider them as part of the peacekeeper ideal. Cheers

Offline Young KH

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2005, 15:36:34 »
Call it Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, Policing, War or even a live firing exercise with live targets that shoot back.They are just words, Gobble DE Goop, Makes no never mind it is the same job and people get killed.

It's the job, whatever they decide to call it.
Political considerations will dictate what it is called in the end.

Statements made above are my own opinion are not to be taken as fact.
Ken
Pro Patria
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I may disagree 100%, with what you have to say.
But will fight to the death, your right to say it.

Offline MCG

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2005, 15:41:05 »
Call it Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, Policing, War or even a live firing exercise with live targets that shoot back.They are just words, Gobble DE Goop, Makes no never mind it is the same job and people get killed.
It is more than just words.   If we, as a military, are content to give it the wrong name then our politicians and the public will expect us to do the job with the wrong equipment, wrong training, and wrong funding.   They will also develop unrealistic opinions about the threat and achievable results.

Offline Young KH

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2005, 15:43:17 »
It is more than just words.   If we, as a military, are content to give it the wrong name then our politicians and the public will expect us to do the job with the wrong equipment, wrong training, and wrong funding.   They will also develop unrealistic opinions about the threat and achievable results.

Granted
Ken
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But will fight to the death, your right to say it.

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Re: Peacekeeping or Fighting? or Both?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2005, 16:34:55 »
our politicians and the public will expect us to do the job with the wrong equipment, wrong training, and wrong funding.

At the tactical level, politicians and the public are not at all responsible for training, and are at least arms distance from equipment and funding.  It is an oversimplification and in many ways the shirking of responsibility to blame the public or the politicians for failures in the nuts and bolts of our battalions, BG's or TF's who are deployed or preparing to do so. 

No one has disagreed that those outside of the military have the foggiest idea of the difference between peacekeeping, peacemaking, war fighting so I would argue that the differences in the terms are truly only semantic. Personally I know enough to know when I am on an operation or an exercise and don't particularly feel a need to substantiate my existence with what are little more than media terms. 

Quote
They will also develop unrealistic opinions about the threat and achievable results.

How many times in the last 100 years have we heard the favourite phrase of Generals that  'the troops will be home by Christmas?'  I challenge anyone to cite an example of a realistic opinion or threat given prior to an operation.  If there is one there will be a hundred examples of the opposite.  One could argue that the end states of peacekeeping and war fighting are identical.