Spring 2006 (Volume IV, Issue I)
Promoting new understanding and improvement of Canadian foreign and defence policy.
In this issue:
- Message from the President – Robert S. Millar
- CDFAI New Fellows
- Education - Canadian Military Journalism Course
- Research Paper: The Strategic Capability Investment Plan: Origins, Evolution and
Future Prospect - Elinor Sloan
- Article: Canada In The Americas: Whence Did It Come, How Did It Do, Where Is It Bound? -
- Article: The writing was on the wall! Implications of the Hamas victory - Tami Amanda Jacoby
- Article: The North American Cocoon - Gordon Smith
- Article: Putting Public Servants In Harm's Way: Dilemmas of the Democratic State in a Violent and Uncertain World - Denis Stairs
- About Our Organization
Welcome to the Spring 2006 issue of “The Dispatch” newsletter. In this edition we introduce two new Fellows, Barry Cooper from the University of Calgary and Stéphane Roussel, Université du Québec à Montréal to our network of Canadians interested in providing informed opinion on Canadian security, defence and foreign affairs issues.
Since our last newsletter CDFAI has been planning its programs for 2006 and working on broadening its outreach assets.
Along with this newsletter Dr Elinor Sloan’s paper, The Strategic Capability Investment Plan: Origins, Evolution and Future Prospects is being released.
In this newsletter there are four compelling articles for your consideration on topics such as the OAS, Hamas, Opportunities for the new Conservative Government and Putting Public Servants in Harm’s Way.
The first article by George Haynal is titled - Canada in the Americas: Whence did it Come, How did it Do, Where is it bound? George provides an analysis of Canada’s involvement in the OAS and Hemispheric multilateralism plus some suggestions on where this country should consider going in the future.
Tami Jacoby’s article The Writing was on the Wall! Implications of the Hamas Victory briefly discusses the issues facing Hamas and the key question on whether it can resolve the seeming contradiction between its internal and external agenda.
The North American Cocoon by Gordon Smith touches on many of the current challenges facing the new federal government and some of the issues that need to be considered.
Putting Public Servants in Harm’s Way: Dilemmas of the Democratic State in a Violent and Uncertain World by Dennis Stairs examines the “substantial and significant” Canadian interests that need to be analyzed by governments in Ottawa before authorizing the deployment of personnel to dangerously violent environments abroad.
2006 is now upon us, there is a new government in Ottawa and already the international scene is changing. How will Canada respond? CDFAI believes that there are many positive ways that this nation can and should be involved. Enjoy this issue of “The Dispatch” and contact us if you have any comments.
Barry Cooper: a fourth generation Albertan, was educated at Shawnigan Lake School, the University of British Columbia and Duke University (PhD, 1969). He taught at Bishop's University, McGill, and York University before coming to the University of Calgary in 1981. He has been a visiting professor in Germany and the United States. His teaching and research has tried to bring the insights of Western political philosophers to bear on contemporary issues, from the place of technology and the media in Canada, to the debate over the constitutional status of Quebec and Alberta, to current military and security policy.
|Stéphane Roussel: is Assistant Professor - Department of Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy. From 2000-2002, he was Professor at Glendon College (York University) in Toronto where he taught international relations and security studies. He has also lectured as a visiting Professor at Université de Montréal. He graduated from Université du Québec à Montréal (B.A. and M.A., 1983-1990) and Université de Montréal (Ph. D., 1999). Professor Roussel has received several grants and scholarships from institutions such as Department of National Defence, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and NATO.|
|February 28, 2006 – CDFAI Fellow, Jean-Sébastien Rioux, was appointed Chief of Staff for The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.|
|WHO:||Eleven Canadian students enrolled in the 3rd and 4th year (minimum) of a university journalism degree program|
|WHAT:||This program introduces students to military journalism and the Canadian Forces. The course includes a combination of media-military theory in a classroom setting, coupled with field visits to Canadian Forces regular and reserve units.|
|WHEN:||May 7 – 17, 2006|
|WHERE:||Classroom work – Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary
Fieldwork – Calgary reserve units and regular force units in Edmonton, Alberta
Included in the scholarship are:
|DEADLINE:||Submissions must be post-marked no later than March 24, 2006.|
On March 13, 2006, Dr. Elinor Sloan’s paper entitled: The Strategic Capability Investment Plan: Origins, Evolution and Future Prospects will be released. This study is an analysis of current Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence plans for new capital spending over the next 15 years. The complete paper is now available online at www.cdfai.org and may be downloaded by clicking here.
by George Haynal
by Tami Amanda Jacoby
The recent landslide victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) in Palestinian legislative elections on January 25, 2006 should be no surprise to anybody following the key fissures in the Palestinian areas erupting over the last few years. The writing was on the wall as student and Chamber of Commerce elections, as well as public opinion polls, consistently demonstrated, year after year, overwhelming support for Hamas over the ruling Fatah party in Gaza and areas of the West Bank. The electoral results punctuated a reality that was long concealed. What accounts for widespread support for the Hamas?
During the peace process era, the chasm between the haves and have-nots widened as Fatah party officials pocketed donor funds, evaded public accountability, and a myriad of self-preservationist security services cracked down on opponents with utter contempt for the rule of law. Palestinian officials negotiated with Israel at a time when the continuation of Jewish settlement activity and unilateral measures such as Israel’s security barrier and targeted assassinations rendered joint work increasingly unpopular. These actions resulted in the loss of legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinian people.
Owing to the bankruptcy, both political and economic, of the Palestinian National Authority, Hamas gradually built a power base at the grassroots level through a loosely knit group of operatives functioning clandestinely and openly recruiting through mosques and a comprehensive network of social welfare services. These institutions obtained loyalties in exchange for badly needed relief at a time when basic services were unavailable from the main governing bodies. As a result, the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the entire peace process were undermined by a more radical agenda that spread like a cancer throughout the Palestinian areas and funneled in to the transnational development of radical Islam.
The ramifications of the Hamas victory are as yet unknown although a number of scenarios are possible. On one hand and for the first time ever, Palestinians elected a government that represents the popular will. In this respect, it was the first authentic exercise of democracy in the history of the Arab world. However, democracy does not necessarily bring with it a more progressive or enlightened agenda. The Hamas is not, in itself, a democratic entity and is no model of harmonious relations. Palestinian support for Hamas was motivated for the most part, by frustrations over the failed Oslo Peace Process, continued Israeli control, oppression on the part of their own police state, and abandonment by neighbouring Arab countries. For many Palestinians, Hamas is a protest vote that, although highly controversial, represents the hope of a better future, one in which corruption, nepotism, lawlessness, poverty and oppression are things of the past. If the Hamas comes through on its promise of Palestinian institutional reform and transparency, the very changes long demanded by the United States and its allies, it may well provide the needed internal stability that will fulfill the long-sought after Palestinian objective of national self-determination.
On the other hand, Hamas has the potential to destabilize the entire region by escalating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and transforming the Palestinian areas into breeding grounds for international terrorism. Democratic government is only possible in a peaceful society. While the religion of Islam calls for tolerance and peace, Hamas promotes extremism and war. Hamas is ultimately, a ruthless and radical Islamic fundamentalist movement whose founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamist state over every inch of Palestine. The Hamas deals ruthlessly with anyone suspected of collaborating with Israel and views with contempt visions of a secular ideological alternative.
Supported by fundamentalist Iran, the Hamas is designated within the overall global war against terrorism as a terrorist entity by the United States, Canada, the EU, and Australia. Hamas activists, through the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted countless large-scale suicide attacks and other forms of indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians in Israel. Hamas was responsible for 67% of suicide bomb attacks between 2000 and 2005 (sometimes in collaboration with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) resulting in thousands of Israeli casualties. Hamas shows no sign of changing its mandate to recognize Israel and engage in peaceful negotiations in the near future.
The key question is whether Hamas will resolve the contradiction between its internal and external agenda. On one hand, Hamas remains committed to the uncompromising platform of national struggle for all of Palestine. On the other hand, Hamas must now fulfill its obligations to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people. Governance requires compromise. So does international legitimacy. If Hamas does not redefine its politics, it will be refused entry into the international community and denied access to funding, which can only undermine plans to redistribute wealth and build a platform for statehood. The international community can only hope that Hamas will moderate its stance in office, thereby opening the doors to collaboration with alternative leadership candidates, structures, and ideas that are more moderate and untainted by the ills of any previous governing body.
by Gordon Smith
It is quite remarkable. The last election campaign barely touched on anything beyond our borders. One might think we lived in a North American cocoon. Actually, even that would be too broad a conception, as even Mexico was never mentioned, to the best of my knowledge.
Of course, relations with the United States were mentioned, with the winning Conservatives saying they should be improved. Even before the new government took office, however, the Prime Minister-designate as he was then known, had to tell the American Ambassador we didn’t need to be lectured on whether we needed icebreaking capability in OUR North. And then the US military in Baghdad shot at a convoy transporting the Canadian Charge d’Affaires and other Canadians. The US said the convoy ignored orders to stop; this was flatly rejected by the Canadians who were fortunate not to have been wounded or even killed.
The US is our “best friend”, it is often said. But countries have interests, not friends. The key in managing our relationship with the US is never to lose sight of our national interests. The US certainly won’t now or in the future, and nor should we be captured - either by our emotions (rhetorically bashing the latest excess from Washington) or wishful thinking (if only the US elections were sooner and the Democrats in power).
In short, Canada lives in an increasingly small world and needs to interact with it. As James Rosenau points out, it is a world of “fragmegration” (fragmentation and integration occurring at the same time), the “intermestic” nature of policy (the international and the domestic are increasingly meshed) and “distant proximities” (events seemingly far away can have an immediate bearing on our lives).
Let us hope that the new government does not commission a large number of basic policy reviews. Policy is made and not written about in abstraction by committee. White papers are usually laborious to produce, bland as to their practical implications and soon forgotten.
The reality is that Canada has limited assets in the international arena. They must be harnessed to work together. I would hope the hugely unpopular decision to split Foreign Affairs and International Trade would be reversed without delay. I would also like to see Canada’s development assistance as a critical arm of foreign policy.
There are many issues in the world over which Canada has no influence, but about which Canada is often asked for opinion. It reduces our political credibility, however, if we make hortatory statements which will inevitably be ignored outside our borders.
As an example of a major international problem, let me take the Middle East. The victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections has obviously complicated the situation in the Middle East, and raises many questions. Should donors, including Canada, turn off the aid spigot ($1B US a year) until Hamas changes its declaratory policy on the use of violence and the elimination of Israel? Or should donors continue providing assistance to a duly elected Palestinian administration, counting on positive incentives and realities of holding power to change Hamas?
This is a tough choice, and one on which the new government will hear from Canadians. I would urge those interested to read Graham Fuller’s book entitled Political Islam. Fuller is a former CIA official specializing in the Middle East who now lives in Canada. He argues the political Islam is a reality with which we will have to come to terms. It does not imply accepting violence as part of politics but dealing with people who may have been terrorists in the past, and tolerating other than traditional western forms of democracy.
In the Middle East, the key decisions will be taken by the Quartet (the UN, US, EU and Russia). Canada should try to influence these decisions by having its own position and by being ready to take a specific role in the process. We could, for example, concentrate on the issue of water, or refugees. The point is to choose a few global issues which we have knowledge of and experience in, and devote significant intellectual and financial capital on them, accepting we are not centre stage or unlimited in capacities.
CDFAI has long argued for a foreign policy based on national interests – which is not to say that values should be ignored. Canada is largely made up of immigrants from various parts of the world, however, and Canadians hardly share a common perception of their national interests. Many Canadians press the point of view of their specific group, and it is a real challenge to balance various groups’ pressures. We need hard-nosed thinking as to where Canadian interests really lie, especially in Israeli-Palestinian issues.
The Conservatives have stated unequivocally that Canada’s climate change policy should not be determined by the Kyoto regime but should be “made in Canada” instead. A national policy should be formulated for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as well as an energy policy which would ensure a maximum benefit from the use of technology.
There are opportunities here. Kyoto extension is going nowhere as the US will never participate without China and India being included, and that won’t happen. The US wants a “made in the US” approach to greenhouse gas reductions. The US is not arguing that climate change is a figment of the imagination and that human behaviour does not contribute to the problem; the point is that we should not stick only to a Kyoto type approach. Canada could take a lead in developing a better approach, which would be more acceptable to the countries now outside the Kyoto protocol. Canada is eminently suited for a role as broker of an international agreement on a controversial issue like cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
We can expect the new Government to be sensitive to the fact that the US is obviously preoccupied by its security and the “war on terrorism”. This effects Canada in many ways. The threat that weapons of mass destruction might one day be used by terrorists adds seriously to the problem. Regimes to constrain non-proliferation need to be strengthened (Iran will be a good test case), and we in the West (not just the US) have a major problem with extreme violent Islamists.
In trying to forge international agreements on security, it is important, however, to remember that security can be defined in different ways in different parts of the world. For example, many more people are killed in internal conflicts than by terrorists. Canada could help the international community achieve a broader global understanding of the various security needs and challenges.
There are far too many poor people in the world; this creates problems of global consequence. A researcher at the Centre for Global Studies has established, for example, that there was in Pakistan a clear link between poverty and terrorist behaviour – something I know will be a controversial finding. Reducing poverty and inequity in the world is of great importance to improving world security, however, and needs more collaboration and imagination on a global level than has thus far been achieved. This is something to which Canadians could make a crucial contribution, considering their skills and vast experience in building capacity in developing countries.
It is to be hoped that the new Government will continue its predecessor’s efforts to strengthen the world’s capacity to meet global challenges. This includes the reform of international institutions and the creation of both formal and informal networks (see the writings of Anne-Marie Slaughter and Jean-Francois Rischard). There is increasing interest in the idea of a L20 on which Prime Minister Harper can build.
Finally, another subject dear to CDFAI, we must take on board the reality that our armed forces – and diplomats (Glyn Berry has recently been buried as this is written) – are now on the front line. They should be given the appropriate equipment and resources to cope with this reality, once the government specifies its priorities and the roles it foresees for Canada on a global stage.
CDFAI is a research institute pursuing authoritative research and new ideas aimed at ensuring Canada has a respected and influential voice in the international arena.
CDFAI is a charitable organization, founded in 2001 and based in Calgary. CDFAI develops and disseminates materials and carries out activities to promote understanding by the Canadian public of national defence and foreign affairs issues. CDFAI is developing a body of knowledge which can be used for Canadian policy development, media analysis and educational support. The Fellows program, a group of highly experienced and talented individuals, support CDFAI by authoring research papers, responding to media queries, running conferences, initiating polling, and developing outreach and education projects.
To be a catalyst for innovative Canadian global engagement.
CDFAI was created to address the ongoing discrepancy between what Canadians need to know about Canadian foreign and defence policy and what they do know. Historically, Canadians tend to think of foreign policy – if they think of it at all – as a matter of trade and markets. They are unaware of the importance of Canada engaging diplomatically, militarily, and with international aid in the ongoing struggle to maintain a world that is friendly to the free flow of people and ideas across borders and the spread of human rights. They are largely unaware of the connection between a prosperous and free Canada and a world of globalization and liberal internationalism. CDFAI is dedicated to educating Canadians, and particularly those who play leadership roles in shaping Canadian international policy, to the importance of Canada playing an active and ongoing role in world affairs, with tangible diplomatic, military and aid assets.
Minor Research Papers – four papers are released each year on current, relevant themes related to defence, diplomacy and international development.
Major Research Paper – one or two major papers are released each year providing a detailed, critical examination on current issues or analyzing existing policy.
Quarterly Newsletters – educate Canadians on timely topics related to Canada’s role on the international stage.
Monthly Columns – a monthly column written by J.L. Granatstein that raises the level of public debate on defence and foreign affairs issues.
Speakers’ Series – corporate and other leaders are invited to expand their knowledge of international relations through the experience and expertise shared by knowledgeable speakers.
Editorial Board – a group of highly respected academics ensure authoritative public policy integrity in all of CDFAI’s formal publications.
Annual Ottawa Conference – a joint project with Carleton, Laval, Queen’s University, UQAM, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars is held annually to address a topical issue.
National Polls – public opinion polls are commissioned to demonstrate Canadian current thinking on significant international issues.
Military Journalism Courses – annually, two eleven-day military/media courses (French and English) are run where upwards of 24 Canadian journalism students learn about dealing with the Canadian Forces.
Ross Munro Media Award – annually, CDFAI and CDA recognize one Canadian journalist who has made a significant contribution to the public understanding of defence and security issues.
Issue Responses – as required, CDFAI will respond to breaking news items with a reasoned, well articulated perspective to assist the public in understanding the issue.
Each of CDFAI’s projects is developed to bring attention to pressing Canadian international engagement issues. These projects not only analyze the issues but also offer solutions. By publishing the results of these research projects, CDFAI gives policymakers the means to carry out policy formulation and administration in a more informed manner. Interested Canadians will be more knowledgeable. The ultimate aim is to strengthen Canada’s international role in the world, thereby supporting a reasonable standard of living for current and future Canadians and those living around the globe.
CDFAI’s annual budget currently runs at approximately $800,000. Corporate, individual philanthropic, government contracts and foundation support are needed to carry on this important work.
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