Russia vs Ukraine: Is diplomacy dead?

Russia vs Ukraine: Is diplomacy dead?Far from it. But the diplomacy of peace is in need of emergency resuscitation As a junior delegate to the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-building Measures and Disarmament in Europe in 1984-85, I had adopted the prevailing view that, with nuclear weapons in play, war in Europe was outmoded. That Stockholm dialogue was a…

Canada finally releases its long-awaited Indo-Pacific Strategy

Canada finally releases its long-awaited Indo-Pacific StrategyWhile the government deserves applause, there are some gaps in the plan Several years in the making, Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy has finally been released. It’s a welcome fresh take on a time-worn tradition of trying to engage more substantially across the Pacific. In one of many previous attempts, the Asia-Pacific Foundation was created in 1985…

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: What’s the end-game with China?

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: What’s the end-game with China?Isolating China could lead to a series of unintended consequences Canadian Global Affairs Minister Melanie Joly delivered a speech in Toronto today foreshadowing Canada’s long-awaited Indo-Pacific Strategy, promised within a month. She highlighted the geopolitical risks of doing business with China and the desire to strengthen ties with India and South-East Asia. The hardline China…

Canada and the Indo-Pacific: Slow boat to Cold War 2.0?

Canada and the Indo-Pacific: Slow boat to Cold War 2.0?The Biden administration has clearly signalled it wants a new Cold War in Asia Under pressure from big business, the Trudeau government has requested to join a U.S.-led China containment pact called the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The move will significantly affect economic development, peace, and Canada’s foreign policy. The IPEF is the Biden administration’s…

Are we at risk of letting China dictate our Taiwan policy?

We mustn't let fear of China determine our relationship with Taiwan

Are we at risk of letting China dictate our Taiwan policy?According to recent news reports, a delegation of eight Canadian MPs and senators from the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group and a parliamentary trade committee are planning to visit Taiwan as early as October. Although such visits are not unusual, this time around the announcement has attracted more attention than usual. This is largely due to China’s…

Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producers

The big losers from the tariff are, without a doubt, American consumers

Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producersBy Olivier Rancourt and Gabriel Giguere The Canadian softwood lumber dispute with the United States, which has been dragging on for some 40 years now, is long overdue for a resolution. Despite setbacks before WTO and NAFTA tribunals, accusations of subsidized production from American decision-makers and producers continue. The accusations have notably led to the…

Strategic procrastination is Canada’s preferred Indo-Pacific strategy

But it could turn out to be the wisest approach to follow

Strategic procrastination is Canada’s preferred Indo-Pacific strategyPlans are useless, but planning is indispensable Dwight Eisenhower I was recently invited to present my views on Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy in discussion with Asian ambassadors in Ottawa. I noted that it’s better not to hold one’s breath waiting for a government policy document. That’s why Canada’s preferred foreign policy approach in normal times is…

Canada effectively absent in the Indo-Pacific

Ottawa’s non-existent profile in Indo-Pacific affairs a cause for concern and disappointment

Canada effectively absent in the Indo-PacificIf Canada has pretensions to being an Indo-Pacific power, then it has a difficult image problem to overcome – not in terms of its national reputation as a constructive and valued member of the international community, which are “a given,” but in terms of its “presence” and “engagement” with this pivotal region. While it is…

A guide to creating a muscular Canadian foreign service

We have to decide if we want to have opinions or influence

A guide to creating a muscular Canadian foreign serviceThere’s an old saying in the government: “There’s a book inside all retired senior officials and Ambassadors.” With some modesty, I might have a few chapters and articles, and occasionally one percolates to the surface and is published. The invitation I received to testify recently before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade caused…

Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the Quad

Anxiety in London, Ottawa and Wellington that their influence is waning

Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the QuadRecently there has been a welcome debate about the extent to which the Five Eyes security partnership between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States can and should be mobilized for strategic and diplomatic activities outside of its traditional intelligence, military, and law enforcement collaborations. This debate was further fuelled in…
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