Peace keeping means what it says. It involves keeping the peace between two identifiable warring factions who want peace and have invited third party in to keep it. It really only has a hope of succeeding when those groups are separated from one another by geography. In this sense Ignatieff was always right about the Afghanistan mission and the others dead wrong. Afghanistan is and never was suited to peace keeping. Furthermore, as guerilla war supplants state on state violence as the dominant form of conflict, peace keeping missions have become less and less useful. In this sense too Ignatieff is right, albeit for the wrong reasons, and his opponents are wrong. Peace keeping has had it day; it represents a proud chapter in Canada history, but that chapter has been written; let us move on.
Where Ignatieff errs is the prescriptions he makes. He seems to not to realize that just as age of Peace keeping has come and gone so thankfully has the age of nation building. First of all, the public has no stomach for it. For Ignatieff to suggest that Canada and other Western countries should greatly reduce spending on social programs just so they do not have rely on a "Pentagon General" to police the world is such bleeding heart gibberish it hardly merits comment.
Most Canadians are interested in building up Canada, Ignatieff is alone in thinking Afghanistan and Dalfur should be higher priorities. Most Canadians would be aghast if billions of dollars were to be diverted from health budgets to pay for military hardware, but that is exactly what Ignatieff would like to do. The money quote: "we used to be peace keepers. We used to have capabilities. We gave them up. Because people wanted hospitals, schools and roads and god bless them." The man is a menace.
Second, nation building is a foul's errand. Western countries have had very little success in developing their own hinterlands let alone transforming the most backward economies in the world.
Finally, these missions only make it more likely that Canada will be attacked by terrorists home grown as in the Toronto 18 or otherwise.