A Three Ocean Navy

Over on Army.ca (there’s an identical (in content) Navy.ca, too, if you prefer blue), there’s an interesting new discussion based on a recent article published by the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC). It raises an important issue for Canadians. Canada is a three ocean country … … and Canada needs a three ocean Navy. …

A fundamental shift?

Professor Branko Milanović, formerly lead economist in the World Bank Research Department, writes, in Foreign Affairs, that “As of March 2020, the entire world is affected by an evil with which it is incapable of dealing effectively and regarding whose duration no one can make any serious predictions. The economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus …

Another “exactly right” notion

David Staples, an award-winning journalist, writing about a week ago in the Edmonton Journal, got it exactly right. After noting, correctly, that “There are a good number of sober, sensible actions that will change the world from a smoggy and smoky place into a clean and prosperous home for us all … [but] … Lashing out …

Afghanistan in retrospect (3) (the Future?)

Following on from the other day, Dr Carter Malkasian writes, in Foreign Affairs, that in 2015 and 2016 the war in Afghanistan went from bad to worse for the US-supported Afghan government. That rejuvenated Taliban went from victory to victory, from strength to strength. Then, “When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the …

Resetting our foreign policy

It is no secret, I think, to anyone who follows this blog that I regard Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s white paper on foreign policy, ‘A Foreign Policy for Canadians,’ as having been an act of policy vandalism. I continue to believe that Pierre Trudeau was driven by an intense need to find a way to …

The Trump Effect (5)

I’ve been wondering about the “Trump Effect” on the defence and fiscal priorities of America’s allies for several years now, ever since he was elected, and even before. I had hoped that the Trump Effect might spur some Western laggards, like Canada and Germany and many other allies, to pick up a greater share of …

The Trump Peace Plan

On the subject of the Trump Mideast Peace Plan, I agree with both The Economist which says, “as a blueprint for a two-state solution it was dead on arrival,” and with the Globe and Mail’s Mark MacKinnon who writes that “President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan … aims to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict almost …

The Alliance for Multilateralism (AKA the committee to save the world)

A bit more than a year ago I discussed a proposal for a G-9 which was dubbed ‘The Committee to Save the World Order.’ Sometime later, I discussed how such a group, I called it a G-X, might displace the G-20. Now, I see that last September, France and Germany formed just such a group: …

NATO in the Middle East

The situation in and around the Middle East is horrifically complex and changes fast. A couple of days ago Murray Brewster wrote, for CBC News, that “A NATO team has been meeting at the U.S. State Department in recent days to draft proposals on what an expanded alliance presence in the Middle East would like …

What we know and don’t know, for sure, so far

What we do know, for sure, is that: Qassem Soleimani is dead. That is, without a shadow of a doubt, a good thing. He was a monster and his demise makes the world an ever so slightly better place. We should not dance on anyone’s grave, not even those of Hitler, Stalin, Tojo and Mao, …