I am here for my first out of
body Ottawa workshop--a twice or thrice delayed project on military politics. The core idea here is that it has been long argued that in democracies, the militaries have no role in politics, but the reality is that whenever there are choices to be made, there are politics. So, the military always has some kind of politics, whether that is battling for budgets or deciding how to cooperate with other actors in "whole of government" efforts. My role here is to talk about military politics in multilateral efforts. Building/borrowing from the NATO book, the basic idea is that whenever units are sent abroad, their commanders face multiple masters--the home chain of command and the bosses of the multilateral effort. With two bosses come conflicting demands--adjudicating that requires politics--making decisions that have outcomes for the various collectives.
Because I missed a recent civ-mil conference, I really wanted to participate in this workshop. I get to see some of the sharp folks/friends who do civ-mil stuff and get to eat/drink with them. Last night's dinner was so terrific as we exchanged stories of pandemic teaching and research, catching up on their various lives, and sharing older stories of the pre-pandemic. It just felt so good. And my FOMO got reduced by 27.5%. Oh, and the food and drink were good, too.
I actually managed to sleep with only one interruption. I often can't sleep past 3:30 am in Europe on the first night or two, but managed to do so. I slept so late I thought I missed the hotel breakfast, but it went long plus the change in daylight savings time meant I didn't sleep that late. It was bustling, and, yes, hotel breakfast buffets are back. Again, am I livingin the pre-pandemic, mid-pandemic, or post-pandemic? Since Canada is still mid-pandemic, one of my afternoon activities will be finding a PCR test place for my flight back in 72ish hours. After that, the gang goes to Tivoli--one of the very first amusement parks in the world--which will be Halloween-themed. Since it is so old, the ghosts there may be real?
|While eating breakfast, |
I noticed I was being watched
I am off to bike in the mist to work off the stuff I ate last night.