NATO Series Papers

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Image credit: DND

Introduction

The inspiration for this collection of papers originated in a symposium hosted earlier this year by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. “NATO and the North Atlantic” took as a point of departure NATO and the North Atlantic: Revitalizing Collective Defence, by Colonel Dr. John Andreas Olsen, Norway’s defence attaché to the United Kingdom and Ireland. After opening remarks by Ambassador Anne Kari Hansen Ovind and myself, there were presentations by Dr. Olsen, Commodore Brian Santarpia (Royal Canadian Navy RCN), Captain (N) Erik Boe (Royal Norwegian Embassy) and Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier (Deputy Commander RCN).  The event concluded with a panel of the quartet, moderated by CGAI’s Defence Analyst
Dr. David Perry.

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2017 NATO Series Papers


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  • commented 2017-07-27 17:36:07 -0400
    This is basically a motherhood statement about the worthiness of Canada participating in international alliances, which of course I agree with. However, Canada has rarely pulled its weight internationally since the Second World War, and especially since Korea. We have scarce resources that must be allocated with care. We need to prioritize according to our strategic interests and ability to have an impact.

    Having spent most of the last 3 years in eastern Ukraine on the front lines [about 1, 400 km closer than our troops…], I do not believe that eastern Europe should be our priority, for several reasons:

    1) we have bigger strategic interests elsewhere, notably in Africa;

    2) we have much bigger comparative advantages elsewhere, notably in Africa;

    3)we can play much more of a leadership role elsewhere, notably in Africa;

    4) there are other nations much better suited to take the lead in Eastern Europe, because of their physical proximity, cultural affinity and more immediate strategic interest.

    I am not against Canada playing a role there, I just do not think it should be a big one unless we drastically enlarge our forces or have nothing better to do, neither of which is likely to happen soon. Were we to play a more active role in Africa, this would almost certainly be as part of our alliances, particularly the UN and NATO.
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