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Home Policy Articles: Military & Defence

One of the core functions of any government is to exercise sovereignty over its territory and its people. Defence policy is therefore of central importance to any government. The issue of how best to provide for Canada's defence faces a number of challenges from the fluid nature of the international system, the seemingly increased threat of terrorist attacks, the increasing interdependence of Canada and the United States, and technological change.

This section will be will be your guide to what’s happening in military and defence policy.



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A Friendly Agreement in Advance: Canada-US Defense Relations Past, Present, and Future popular

The author of this article, J.L. Granatstein, argues that Canada has no choice but to support the United States in an expanded anti-terrorism war, as well as in a National Missile Defense (NMD) scheme proposed by the Bush Administration. Granatstein explains that the two countries have been linked in defense for over 60 years, and that, as such, Canada’s refusal to participate in joint defence programs would inevitably carry real costs. Considering that the US will defend itself regardless of Canada’s position, Granatstein asserts that Canada must participate in defence programs – if only to protect its sovereignty. Granatstein suggests that by participating, Canada can maintain its seat at the defence table, which should, in turn, strengthen Canada’s bargaining position on trade issues.

Renewing the U.S. - Canada Relationship popular

This report considers the breakdown of the Canada - U.S. relationship and how this development has affected both countries. The report concludes that much of the breakdown has been due to the fall of communism and the resulting loss of common goals. The document encourages a renewed relationship and emphasizes new reasons for Canada and the U.S. to work together.

A National Security Framework for Canada

This article by W.D. Macnamara and Ann Fitz-Gerald examines Canada’s strategy regarding national security and what, in the authors view, is a lack of any framework to link this strategy with defence policy.

Canada and Military Coalitions: Where, How and with Whom?

This article by Douglas Bland examines not whether Canada should continue participating in coalitions (which Bland considers a given), but “whether Canada has the political will and the means to influence the shape and operating expectations of established and emerging coalitions to best benefit Canada’s national interests.”

Canada Now: Fading Power or Future Power

This report discusses issues considered at National Foreign Policy Conference in 2003. It was found that Canada needs to reconsider its position on foreign affairs due to the weakness of multilateral institutions, the change in security concerns and the instability of the international system.

CIIA Student Foreign Policy Symposium

This collaborative paper argues that a new approach to the implementation of foreign policy is necessary due to a changing international scene. Keeping in mind the importance of security, prosperity and the maintenance of Canadian values this report suggests the use of multilateralism, specialization and strong Canada - U.S. relations to move Canada forward on the international stage.

Controlling Irregular Migration in Canada: Reconciling Security Concerns with Human Rights Protection

This article by François Crépeau and Delphine Nakache examines recent developments in Canada (following the events of September 11, 2001) regarding migration control.

Giving Greater Weight to Canadian Foreign Policy

This submission by the CIIA Victoria branch suggests a new strategy for international relations. They suggest the first step is a strengthening of the Department of National Defence as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Specific actions to reach this end are suggested.

Let's Not Go Ballistic: The case against Canadian participation in the U.S. missile defence system

Bill Robinson’s report comes at a time when the Canadian government must decide whether or not to participate in the US Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System. Robinson argues that, while Prime Minister Martin has raised several issues concerning Canada’s involvement, he has failed to address many others.

Lost in Transition: Canada and the Search for a 3-D Solution in Kosovo

Julian Wright studies the current situation in Kosovo (i.e., 2005), with a particular eye towards its compatibility with Canada’s new 3D approach to development in general, “which seeks to integrate defence, development and diplomacy efforts.”

Managing Global Crises – and the U.S. Colossus

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.

Mapping the New North American Reality: The Road Sector

In this paper Mary Brooks argues that on the trade front, NAFTA has been a huge success, yet road transportation has received inadequate attention despite the obvious and central role trucking plays in trans-NAFTA commerce.

Multinational Land Force Interoperability: Meeting the Challenge of Different Cultural Backgrounds in Chapter VI Peace Support Operations

This article by Ann Fitz-Gerald analyzes the interoperability of forces of different nationalities in multinational forces of the UN, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

National Insecurity: Bowing to US “Security” Demands Will Make Canadians Less Secure

In this article, Clarke, Dobbin and Finn argue that powerful business leaders are accustomed to getting what they want from the federal and provincial governments. What business leaders want now, more than anything else, the authors contend, is to bind Canada more tightly to the United States, in order to ensure direct access to the world’s largest market.

Our Relationship with America

Brian Lee Crowley briefly discusses the trade realtioship between the US and Canada. He identifies Canada's dependance on US trade and emphasises the importance of border security to ensure positive trade realtions.

Performance and Potential 2005-06: The World and Canada: Trends Reshaping Our Future

In this annual Special Report, the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) takes both a retrospective and prospective look at Canada and the critical factors that affect the quality of life of Canadians. The report emphasizes that Canada must develop significant trade relationships with those countries that have growing middle classes. The findings, however, are not positive, and the report suggests that Canada is a fading economic power. The report makes policy suggestions, and considers where future improvements could be made.

Policy Choices: Improving our Relations with the United States: Conference Outcomes Report

With a new government in Ottawa, this discussion paper attempts to outline the status of Canada’s relationship with the United States, in 2006, and means for improving the relationship.

Reaching the Tipping Point: Effects of Post-9/11 Border Security on Canada’s Trade and Investment

In this report, Danielle Goldfarb notes how increased border security at Canada-US crossings has had economic ramifications for Canadian exporters.

Sailing in Concert: The Politics and Strategy of Canada-US Naval Interoperability

This article by Joel Sokolsky examines the concept of interoperability but with a specific focus on the role of the Canadian Navy.

Shaping the Future of the North American Economic Space: A Framework for Action

In this article Wendy Dobson examines ways through which Canada can protect its economic position in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the US, of September 11, 2001. Dobson argues that, considering the US political system, only a “Big Idea” will succeed in this regard, which she defines as “next steps toward deeper integration.” Three Big Ideas are examined by Dobson. The first is a customs union, based on adopting a common external trade policy. The second is a common market, which would “free up the movement of people and flows of capital and technology.” The third is a strategic bargain, a Big Idea that would allow Canada to flex its muscle in areas where the US desires greater harmonization (namely border security, immigration and defense) to achieve common market-like advantages.

The Canadian Forces and the Doctrine of Interoperability: The Issues

This article by Danford Middlemiss and Denis Stairs explores the Canada-US defence relationship in light of calls for greater cooperation and interoperability following the events of September 11, 2001 and other recent catalysts, including developments leading to the war in Afghanistan.

The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift

In this brief paper Ray Szeto and Barry Cooper explore the importance of strategic lift capacity of the Canadian Forces (CF). The authors contend that because Canada is isolated from most trouble spots on the globe and does not have bases in other countries, it requires the ability to transport goods and personnel to theatres overseas. The authors further illustrate the need for strategic lift capability by examining military deployments abroad that clearly require lift capabilities. Szeto and Cooper look specifically at both airlift and sealift capacity and needs.

The North American Imperative: A Public-Good Framework for Canada-U.S. Economic and Security Cooperation

In this report, William B.P. Robson argues that securing proposed economic and security improvements between Canada and the United States requires that people in both countries (and particularly Canadians) think more boldly, and develop a strategy framework that focuses on North American ‘public goods.’ Robson points out that public goods, which are familiar in domestic activities, have international counterparts: areas where coordinated contributions yield payoffs larger than individual countries can realize acting on their own.

Tighter Border Security and its Effect on Canadian Exports

As Michael Burt explains, it was not surprising that the United States increased security at border crossings in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Towards open skies for airlines in Canada

According to Pierre J. Jeanniot, the Canadian government is considering greater liberalization in the country’s airline industry in line with the current international trend toward open markets in aviation.

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