Canada and the “War without End” in Afghanistan

On August 21, President Donald J. Trump did something unusual: he reversed himself. For years he was of the view, as he put it in a tweet in November 2013, that “we have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan…Let’s get out!” But this summer, he decided not only to keep the … More Canada and the “War without End” in Afghanistan

Business Not At All As Usual: Putting the Trudeau Government’s Foreign and Defence Policy Statements into Perspective

In the past, there was a certain clockwork regularity to the process of reviewing Canadian foreign and defence policy: when a new prime minister came to power, aspects of Canada’s international policy would immediately be reviewed. Lester B. Pearson published a defence review in 1964 after the Liberals won the 1963 election. After he won … More Business Not At All As Usual: Putting the Trudeau Government’s Foreign and Defence Policy Statements into Perspective

Why Charlie Foxtrot?

There are actually two different questions in the title of this post. The first is: why is this book necessary? The origins of its argument about Canadian defence procurement can be traced all the way back to the late 1970s. Shortly after I was hired by McMaster University in 1976 to teach in the political science … More Why Charlie Foxtrot?

Super Hornets – How Trudeau played politics with defence procurement

We shouldn’t be surprised that Canada is going to buy an interim fleet of 18 Boeing Super Hornets. The Liberal government has been desperately looking for a way out of the mess Justin Trudeau created when he decided it would be a good idea to play politics by promising in the middle of the election … More Super Hornets – How Trudeau played politics with defence procurement

Playing Politics with the CF-18 Replacement

There is only one true imperative in Canadian defence policy — the one thing that Canadians have to do in defence — and that is to cooperate with the United States in defending the American homeland. Everything else we do in defence policy is optional or discretionary: nice to do, but not essential. That one imperative in Canadian defence … More Playing Politics with the CF-18 Replacement

The 2016 Defence Policy Review: The Perspective of History

On 11 May 2016, the Conference of Defence Associations Institute arranged a meeting in Ottawa with Gen. Raymond R. Henault and Margaret Purdy, two of the members of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Canada’s Defence Policy Review appointed by the Hon. Harjit Sajjan, minister of national defence, to advise him on Canada’s future defence policy. The … More The 2016 Defence Policy Review: The Perspective of History

Canada Is Back — Part 2: Trudeau and the Use of Force

Canada might be “back,” as the meme adopted by Justin Trudeau in the early days of his prime ministership has it. As I argued in Part 1 of this blog post, there is much to welcome in the new foreign policy tone set by the government. However, on one international policy file, Canada indeed seems … More Canada Is Back — Part 2: Trudeau and the Use of Force

Canada Is Back — Part 1: Trudeau and the Use of Force

The day after the election, Justin Trudeau wasted no time in declaring an end to the Harper Conservative era in Canadian foreign policy. “To this country’s friends all around the world,” he said at a Liberal rally on 20 October, “many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world … More Canada Is Back — Part 1: Trudeau and the Use of Force

A Cautionary Tale: Canada’s F-35 Fiasco

What should have been a straightforward defence procurement decision — replacing Canada’s fleet of aging CF-18 Hornets — instead turned into a fiasco. Indeed, the F-35 nicely reveals everything that is dysfunctional in Canada’s approach to defence procurement. The story of Canada’s F-35 acquisition begins, paradoxically, with Jean Chrétien, the Liberal prime minister who is … More A Cautionary Tale: Canada’s F-35 Fiasco