defence and security

10:00AM
Printer-friendly version

As Russian military assets continue to pick apart Ukraine, we should be thankful the transatlantic community didn’t cash in its Cold War-era insurance policy.


10:00AM
Printer-friendly version
International talks often become forums of mutual incomprehension as the world again breaks into two opposing camps with two incompatible worldviews: “the democracies” and “the rest.”

2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

“If North Korea would be ready to attack the United States,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in 2006, “that would be a risk for Canada’s national security as well not only because of our common values, but because of our geographical proximity.” Much has happened in the intervening years—apparently enough, if media reports are accurate, to force Canada to revisit its noncommittal position on missile defence.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Reports that Ottawa and Washington have resumed their delicate missile-defense discussions suggest that Canada may be ready to join the global missile-defense coalition. If so, it would be a welcome development.

The operative word here is “global.” The missile shield now taking shape is a truly international missile defense (IMD) enfolding some of Canada’s closest allies and oldest friends.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

“In ancient times, the opulent and civilized found it difficult to defend themselves against the poor and barbarous nations,” Adam Smith observed in 1776. “In modern times, the poor and barbarous find it difficult to defend themselves against the opulent and civilized.” It seems the 21st century is more ancient than modern. What else could be said of an era when failed and failing states generate far more worries for the international community than powerful states?


3:00AM
Printer-friendly version

In 2005, long before there was an Arab Spring, Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami announced “the autumn of autocrats” and predicted that “the entrenched systems of control in the Arab world are beginning to give way.”

His prediction came to fruition in 2011, when four Arab dictators were toppled and a fifth (in Syria) came under sustained pressure from his subjects. With so many rogue rulers departing in such short order, now is an ideal time to survey the globe for what comes next.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Senior Fellow Martin Collacott served as Canada’s ambassador to Syria in the 1990s. With some 30 years of distinguished service in Canada’s Department of External Affairs, Collacott also held key diplomatic posts in Nigeria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, and China, where he was a member of the negotiating team that established diplomatic relations between Canada and the People’s Republic.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

Iran is making lots of noise about closing the Strait of Hormuz, the vital international waterway that carries 17 million barrels of oil every day—35 percent of the crude oil transported by sea. The control of the Persian Gulf region is in Iran’s hands, Iranian naval chief Habibollah Sayyari ominously warns. This follows news that the Iranian parliament is mulling legislation to block tanker traffic through the strait, which comes on the heels of Sayyari’s boast late last year that closing the strait would be easier than drinking a glass of water.


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

The U.S. strike on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden—call it V-O Day—didn’t end the war he unleashed. But it did mark an important victory in the ongoing struggle against al Qaeda, other jihadist groups, and their state patrons and partners. It also offers a number of important lessons for the broader war on terror.

Pakistan is neither friend nor foe


2:00AM
Printer-friendly version

The world has weathered profound economic challenges since the summer of 2008, challenges that could have fractured, or at least stunted, the all-important partnership between Canada and the United States. Yet almost three years later, the Canadian-American relationship remains strong, and it remains Canada’s most important economic, political and security bond in foreign affairs. As new challenges emerge in North America and beyond, the world is reminding Washington of how important Canada is to the United States.

Border Barriers