Today, democracies share hardly any values with a revanchist Russia and the emergent hegemon in China, and no values with radical Islamists.
With the eruption of ISIS in the Middle East and the ongoing autocracies in Russia and China, pause for a moment and think back to the last century and compare the challenges back then to now.
Given Canadas proximity to the United States, we tend to take our peace and security for granted.
This comfortable distance from most of the worlds violence has also led us to underestimate how useful Canada might be in defusing threats elsewhere using an item some people overlook as leverage: energy.
Napoleon famously cautioned against interfering with an enemy making a mistake. So why is the West interfering with Vladimir Putins massive mistake in Crimea? More puzzling is the Wests unstated goal of legitimizing Putins Crimea grab.
Putins mistake? Some in the media are lionizing Putin as a strategic genius, running circles around the West. Yet, Putin could have gotten Crimea with a please-and-thank-you and looked like a humanitarian hero. Instead, hes viewed as a threatening thug, with long-term negative consequences for Russia.
In releasing its first-ever Arctic strategy recently, the Pentagon has shined a spotlight on the resource-rich Arctic regions increasing importanceand its growing security challenges. It may sound improbable, but the main source of global energy reserves and geopolitical tensions could shift in the not-too-distant future from the deserts and densely populated urban areas of the Middle East to the icy waters and desolate tundra of the Arctic.
Energy from the Arctic
The United States devotes much of its diplomatic and military energies to the Middle East today for a very simple reason: The Middle East is the source of much of the worlds energy, and not coincidentally, much of the worlds tensions.
Tomorrows source of energy reserves and geopolitical tensions may not be the deserts and densely populated urban areas of the Middle East, but rather the icy waters and desolate tundra of the Arctic.
Supply and Demand