Peace and Stability Operations Elective


C/DS 800/ELE/OL-19

Instructor:  Dr. Walter Dorn

Office:  Curtis 332, Canadian Forces College

Phone:  416-482-6800, ext. 6538


Class:  military officers from the Command and Staff Programme


Course Description

The Canadian Forces have been involved in the peace and stability operations in fractured, war-torn societies for over 60 years. In fact, the vast majority of the international operations post-WW II have been peace operations — sometimes called peacekeeping, peace support or stability operations, more recently as part of nation-building. These operations have evolved over time from early UN observer missions (eg, UNTSO in Palestine) to interposed forces (UNEF in the Sinai) to multidimensional operations (Cambodia, Bosnia), and Transitional Administrations (Kosovo, Timor). As new roles were added to deal with protracted conflicts, the complexity, players, dangers and hardships increased. Cases of peace operation successes (Namibia, Central America) and failures (Somalia, Rwanda) will be analysed, as will current operations (Afghanistan, D.R. Congo, Sudan and Haiti). As many recent cases have shown, nation-building is a difficult long-term process requiring a large degree of civil-military cooperation. In addition to the United Nations, other sponsors will be examined, including NATO and regional organizations. The increasingly robust character of peace operations will be considered in light of requirements for protection of civilians and the inherent limitations on the use of force. The contributions from all three environments will be summarized. What has been learned from recent nation-building experience in Iraq and Afghanistan? How do recent doctrine and concepts (eg, three-block war) relate to the evolving practice? How do peace operations relate to counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations? While Canada contributes few troops at present to UN operations, will these become prevalent again after the combat mission in Afghanistan has ended? Students will get opportunities to reflect on the Canadian experience (including their own, if applicable) in current operations, including Afghanistan.

Learning Objectives

C101c — Synthesize theories, models and frameworks to make independent moral/ethical decisions.
C102a — Apply principle-based decision-making in the institutional, operation­al, and cross-cultural contexts.
C301a — Analyse the impact of social, political and technological shifts on the theory and practice of war.
C303b — Interpret the doctrine, organization, plans and ongoing operations of expeditionary operations, including involvement of OGDs and NGOs.
C501a — Analyse the theoretical underpinnings of strategic and national security-related concepts; state power and its usage; and approaches to the study of international relations.


The elective will consist of lectures and seminars in six three-hour periods. Assignment Preparation Time (APT) is two hours of APT for every hour of class, or 36 hours total. This can be broken down roughly as: 18 hours for readings (three hours weekly, roughly); eight hours for assignment; and 10 hours for exam preparation.


30%     Seminar participation
30%     Seminar presentation or mini-essay (student choice)
40%     Final exam

Student presentations (for those choosing to present) will start in Week 3 (April 27).  Students can focus on specific operations or specific aspects of an operation or on a theme relating to operations more generally.

The 1.5-hour exam will be written in the final class. It will include basic knowledge questions (20%), short answers (30%) and an essay question (50%). The set of potential essay questions will be provided in advance. If the class expresses by consensus a desire to make this a take-home exam, this can be done.

The grading rubrics provided in the JCSP syllabus will be used to evaluate student assignments.


Course Textbook (copies can be signed out from the IRC):
Bellamy, Alex J., Paul Williams, and Stuart Griffin.  Understanding Peacekeeping.  Cambridge:  Polity Press, 2004.  [341.584 B44 2004] (First edition; selected pages from the second edition will be provided).

Additional Course References

Dobbins, James, Seth G. Jones, and Keith Crane.  The Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building. [355.005 R6 MG-557]; available from

Canada.  National Defence.  B-GJ-005-307/FP-30, Peace Support Operations, 2002-11-06; available online.  (Note:  A revised doctrinal manual on peace/stability operations is currently being developed by the CF.)

Shawcross, William.  Deliver Us from Evil:  Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict.  New York:  Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, 2001.  [909.82 S5 2001]

United States.  Department of the Army.  Counterinsurgency.  Field Manual FM 3-24, December 2006; available online.  (34 MB)

Supplementary References

de Jong, Ben, Wies Platje, and Robert David Steele (eds.).  Peacekeeping Intelligence:  Emerging Concepts for the Future.  Virginia:  OSS International Press, 2003, 253–280.  [327.1273 P42 2003]

Dallaire, Roméo.  Shake Hands with the Devil:  The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.  Toronto:  Random House Canada, 2003.  [355.3310971 D255 2003]

Dorn, A. Walter.  “Canadian Peacekeeping:  Proud Tradition, Strong Future?”  Canadian Foreign Policy 12, no. 2 (Fall 2005); available online.

Dorn, A. Walter.  “Intelligence-led Peacekeeping:  The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) 2006-07.”  Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 6 (December 2009):  805–835; available online.  (Copies to be provided.)

Doyle, Michael W., and Nicholas Sambanis.  Making War and Building Peace:  United Nations Peace Operations.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2006.  [341.584 D69 2006]

Durch, William J.  Twenty-first-century peace operations.  Washington, DC:  United States Institute of Peace and the Henry L. Stimson Center, 2006.  [341.584 T83 2006]

Maloney, Sean M.  Canada and UN Peacekeeping:  Cold War by Other Means 1945-70.  St. Catherines:  Vanwell Publ., 2002.  [327.172 M34 2002]

United Nations.  Department of Peacekeeping Operations; available online from  (Explore this website).

United States Institute of Peace.  Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction.  Washington, DC:  USIP; available online from


Week 1 

– Introduction:  Overview, Definition and Scope

– International Machinery

Read:  Bellamy et al., Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2 (pp. 1–55 but scan sections 1.2 and 1.3).

Read:  Shawcross, pp. 15–26.


Week 2 

-Observer Missions and Interposed Forces

– An excerpt from the film The Peacekeepers, National Film Board of Canada, will be shown [341.584 P335 2006 GUIDE]

Read:  Bellamy et al., Chapters 3, 4 and 5 (pp. 57–110).

Week 3 

– Multidimensional Missions and Transitional Administrations (Case Study Timor Leste)

– Student Presentations

Read:  Bellamy et al., Chapters 6, 7 and 8 (pp. 111–164); and chapter 12 (pp. 230–249).

Read:  Dobbins et al., Foreword (pp. iii–vii), scan Summary (pp. xvii–xxxviii).


Week 4 

– Non-UN Peace and Stability Operations

– Student Presentations

Read:  Bellamy et al., Chapters 9, 10 and 11 (pp. 165–229).


Week 5 

– Special Topics (intelligence, technology, robust operations)

– Student Presentations

Read:  Bellamy et al., Chapter 13 and Conclusion (pp. 250–275).

Read:  US Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24), “Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations,” pp. 1–26 to 1–28.

Supplementary Reading:  US Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24), pp. 1–19 to 1–26.


Week 6 

– Student Presentations

– Final exam




“While we differ widely in the various little pieces that we know, we are all alike in our infinite ignorance.”  — Bertrand Russell