For 33 years, Major-General Lewis
W. MacKenzie served in Canada's armed forces, retiring in 1993. The former
military commander is known for his work as a peacekeeper, having served
nine tours in Egypt, Cyprus, Vietnam, Central America and the former
Yugoslavia. It was his role as Chief of Staff for the United Nations
Protection Force in Yugoslavia in 1992 that brought him to international
prominence in 1992.
That year in Sarajevo prompted the writing of his highly regarded 1993
book, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, a chronicle of his peacekeeping
experiences from around the world. The publication was considered a coup
in the Canadian book trade for Douglas & McIntyre, mid-sized publishing
house based in Vancouver, which had beaten out international publishers in
a bidding war. It remains in print today. The book led to his hosting for
CBC-TV in 1994, a documentary entitled A Soldier's Peace.
The difficulty of Canada's role in peacekeeping was the subject of Carol
Off's 2000 book, The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and
Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. There, Off examined the
often-problematic work of MacKenzie, General Romeo D'Allaire (appointed to
head the UN task force sent to monitor a negotiated peace settlement in
Rwanda), and Justice Louise Arbour (the Canadian judge who became the
Chief Prosecutor for War Crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the
aftermath of the ethnic cleansing in both countries).
Today, MacKenzie is a Research Fellow at the Canadian Institute of
Strategic Studies, and he remains a sought-after commentator and speaker
on world affairs.
Speaker of the Week #12
In this episode of Speaker of the Week, broadcast Sept. 12, 1997,
MacKenzie talks about the challenge of peacekeeping at the Spruce Meadows
Round Table in Calgary.