I welcome both of our witnesses to the committee—again, in Mr. Dorn's case, of course.
I was listening intently to what you've been saying in talking about what Canadians think. What they think and what reality is in UN missions today are quite different things. There's still that nostalgic view of the blue helmet or blue beret, which Professor Dorn was just talking about. The reality of the risk factors facing them on the ground in a mission such as Mali....
I agree that comparing Mali with Afghanistan may not be the right option, but Canadians, especially our veterans, also remember Rwanda and Somalia and the difficulties we experienced there. There is apprehension on the ground that we all face in our ridings. We don't have the luxury of always being in the Ottawa bubble or sitting behind a desk in a government office or teaching our class at university. We have to face the voter, and there is a concern about this particular mission and about peacekeeping in general. Roméo Dallaire's book added more understanding about the bureaucracy and red tape at the UN, which works not necessarily in collaboration with a proper chain of command when conducting a military operation.
First and foremost, this is a discretionary mission, as all missions are, other than an article 5 mission under NATO. We had General Lewis MacKenzie here on Tuesday, and he talked about the discretionary factor.
Ms. McAskie, you just mentioned that there are still problems within the UN, that they're under-resourced and understaffed in carrying out the mandate of all the various missions the UN undertakes. Can we say with confidence to Canadians that when we are moving troops and civil servants into harm's way on these missions, we are making sure the threats and risks they're facing are mitigated to the best of Canada's ability?