The Empire’s “Good Cop”: Canada’s New Counter-Insurgency Doctrine

So what does this notion of Empire have to do with Canada and its new counter-insurgency doctrine? In this global order, Canada is well-poised, by virtue of its inextricable economic, political, and military alignment with the United States, to play the role of what I like to think of as the ‘good cop’. Remember that ubiquitous scene from all those cop flicks, where the ‘bad cop’ is beating up a detainee in the interrogation room, at which point the ‘good cop’ walks in, takes over the interrogation, warms up to the detainee, and tries to convince him to fess-up and spare the wrath of the testy ‘bad cop’? Well, Canada plays the part of the good-cop in the new world order. It does not have the strength to bully around the rest of the world. But, with its ostensible history as a ‘peace-keeper’ and its deceptively liberal face, it plays the part to perfection, leaving the bloodier, larger missions to the United States.

Canada’s Counter-Insurgency Doctrine

The Canadian counter-insurgency manual is exactly what its title suggests. It is an elaborately detailed strategic, tactical, and operational manual, 169-pages long, instructing counter-insurgency operations to the finest of operational details. In fact, the level of detail makes it almost as useful for the would-be insurgent as for the counter-insurgent.

In it, any and all resistance posed to governments and their policies deemed to be operating outside of the institutional framework of liberal democracy is lumped into the category of insurgency, ranging from the violent activities of national liberation movements down to the simple act of distributing anti-state propaganda. The manual makes no distinction – Taliban, Tamil Tigers, al Qaida, anarchists, Maoists, Mohawk Warriors – they are all insurgencies of one sort or another in need of subversion and destruction. Thus, the Canadian military’s first-ever counter-insurgency doctrine announces the Canadian government’s position with respect to global capitalist Empire loud and clear. There is no alternative! Opposition will be crushed! read more

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