The Ruxted Group has consistently pressed for a return to an old, traditional foreign policy ambition. We want Canada to be a leader amongst the so-called ‘middle powers.’
By any and all measures Canada is a middle power and it is amongst the most powerful of them. Canada is one of the world’s ‘top ten’ by any sensible measure of political and economic power. There are several competitors for the eighth, ninth and tenth positions on that list including Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Korea but, even if Canada is occasionally ‘bumped’ it will be, for the duration of any reasonable policy planning period, one of the world’s top 10%. Two or three of the top ten are or might be superpowers, four or five might be major, even ‘great’ powers – the next 50 or 60 countries, on most lists, are middle powers – Canada is one of them. It is not a state we can (or want to) discard.
The question is: Being an important middle power, shall we aspire to be a leader?
Continue reading "A look to the future"
Canadians have been increasingly conflicted over our role in Afghanistan since our forces returned to Kandahar in 2005. Rather than a quiet, non-threatening traditional "peacekeeping" mission, some of which were, in reality, anything but, Canadians were suddenly treated to the sight of Canadian soldiers engaging in combat operations on a scale not publicly seen since the Korean War.
Canadians rapidly polarized into two camps: one determined to end the mission and Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan, and the other equally determined to forge ahead with implementing the United Nations resolution
. Editorials have been written, speeches made and even public demonstrations have been mounted both for (Red Friday's being the most obvious) and against the mission (like the protest countermarch in Quebec City during the R22eR's parade.)
Continue reading "One Nation: Two Visions"
Prime Minister Harper is quoted
as saying that he wants consensus from Canadians before he will ask Parliament to extend the current Afghan mission beyond Feb 2009.
The Ruxted Group applauds the PM for both insisting that Parliament – the House of Commons – agree to major military operations, and asking Canadians themselves to consider the merits of this mission and guide their elected representatives.
Continue reading "Lead, Please, Prime Minister"