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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Managing Global Crises – and the U.S. Colossus

Commentary by David Wright

In this report, David Wright argues that Canada should never blindly follow the United States vis-à-vis decision-making around international crises. On the other hand, he argues that Canadians should never feel inadequate or irrelevant when they do support U.S. positions, especially on security issues. Wright suggests that Canada should take positions on international issues that are based on its interests and consistent with its values.

To explore the political relationship between Canada and the United States with respect to the handling of international crises, Wright presents, and reviews, six particular cases: the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the conflict in Kosovo, the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq.

Wright concludes that Canada uses its influence most effectively when it engages Washington constructively with realistic solutions and the appropriate resources. He argues that public ‘pot shots’ at the U.S. result in no beneficial changes in U.S behaviour, close the door on influence in Washington, and also come with bilateral costs. Wright concludes with the idea that Canada should intensify its efforts to engage the U.S. on some big global security issues faced by both countries.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): David Wright;
Publisher: C.D. Howe Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Military & Defence / National Security
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / Terrorism
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / War
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2004
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / National Security / 2004
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / Terrorism / 2004
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / War / 2004
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics
Policy Articles / Military & Defence


Keywords / Tags:

Canadian foreign policy; relationship to the United States; reality-based foreign policy; international crises; global security issues;