Opening remarks by Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax International Security Forum, and The Hon. Harjit Sajjan, Canadian Minister of Defence, welcoming participants to Canada and to the 2015 Forum.
As part of a special production of the Global TV program “The West Block”, host Tom Clark moderated a panel of military and security experts to consider an important question: Are recent, shocking events of terrorist activity “the new normal?” The discussion touched upon the role of numerous complex elements that have changed the nature of terrorism, including the criminal underpinnings of terror networks, new sophisticated digital methods of terror recruitment, and how Muslims are made to feel accepted and welcome in countries outside of the Middle East. Panelists also agreed that force is only part of the solution, and the careful management of force is an intrinsic part of inflicting damage upon the enemy, while ensuring favorable conditions remain for rebuilding areas of conflict into areas of peace and freedom in the future.
Produced for Canadian TV Show “The West Block” with Tom Clark
QUESTION: “What is the one thing that stands in the way of victory against Daesh?”
“An absence of coherence within the coalition…This is a time for the coalition to come together, think extensively, and to dedicate ourselves to a final, ultimate objective, which is the defeat of Daesh.”
“Defining the coalition. We all share the same values: that we do not agree with Daesh and their way of life.”
“We need to fully understand how these problems occur. Once you get a really good understanding of that, then you can start looking at how to do reverse engineering for the solution as well.”
“Impatience. I think we need to see what can be successful, and in what time horizon. Apply all the tools that you can that are appropriate to that time horizon but recognize that it’s going to take a long time.”
“Thinking about this only as a government problem and not broadening the coalition to include the private sector, civil society, digital talents and digital young people.”
Moderator Dr. Gideon Rose led panelists through an in-depth discussion of strategy and conflict in the 21st century, and whether nations have the tools they need to resolve conflict now that the rules of international engagement are much less clear. A common theme among all responses was the need for a realistic assessment of the challenges facing individual nations and the international security community today – one that accepts the reality of changing dynamics and greater competition for power. The conversation touched on the current shift from interest-based motivations to values-based motivations. Panelists also discussed how the public’s desire for change gives way to real-world political change, and how troublesome nations – most notably Russia – can still be engaged in other efforts of global security interest.
“The asset we are presenting to Central America is a way to regain security, and that is democracy.”
“After Ukraine, after Crimea, I believe this discussion about ‘somebody doing something’ to provoke Russia should be over.”
“Do not foreclose Russia becoming a responsible actor of a global order that is based on values.”
“We need to understand that with religious conflict, you cannot contain, cannot reach an agreement, cannot give them what they want. So the free world needs to fight for its values.”
LOCATION: Westin Lobby
LOCATION: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Presentation of the Builder Award
The Hon. Peter MacKay, PC, QC
“The horrific attacks in Paris on Friday November 13 have shocked the world. The situation will also surely dominate and modify the discussion previously planned for next week’s Halifax International Security Forum (November 20 to 22, 2015), where officials, military and security agencies will gather together to exchange ideas on how nations can collectively address the pressing security challenges facing us all…”
“Top security experts from around the world will be in Halifax this week for their first major meeting since the terrorist attacks in Paris…”
“There aren’t a lot of game-changing moments in international affairs, says Peter Van Praagh. But the ISIS terrorist attacks on Paris last weekend, like the 9-11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, fall into that rare category…”
“Three hundred delegates from 60 countries will be in Nova Scotia tomorrow attending the seventh annual Halifax International Security Forum. Haligonians can rightly be proud that what started in 2009 has turned into one of the world’s most significant and influential gatherings of democratic defence leaders committed to global security and prosperity…”
“The attacks in Paris and the plight of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in the Maritimes will be a main topic of discussion at the Halifax International Security Forum this weekend…”