Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Tories First Scandal

Not even sworn in yet and already we have the potential for a mini scandal brewing in the in coming PMO.

Forces get marching orders
Tories plan $5.3b boost to military, navy spending


A Dalhousie University defense analyst warns it could be tough for a Conservative minority government to deliver on all its promises to beef up the navy, army and air force. The new government might consider tactical moves that donĂ‚’t necessarily cost anything, such as throwing open the debate on ballistic missiledefensee, he said.

The Conservative platform and press releases during the election say nothing about missile defense. Don't believe me check. Harper only mentioned it during the campaign, an off the cuff comment, it is not in the Party policy book. So is it a promise or a musing. I would say the later. With no political basis to change Canada's position.

In a recent interview with Radio Canada, he suggested he would revisit a Canadian decision not to participate in the U.S. missile-defense system. The Conservative platform calls for increases in foreign aid to bolster the role of Canada in the world, as well as an additional 5.3 billion Canadian dollars, or $4.6 billion, in military spending during the next five years, and the recruiting of an additional 13,000 troops and 10,000 reservists. In Canada, nuts-and-bolts is the right's approach

And if Canada does increase its defense spending as promised will Derek Burney recuse himself from the PMO as he is so closely linked to companies and associations that would benefit from increased Military spending.

As for the idea of Canadian sovereignty in the North well that's a clever ploy to cover up for increased Canadian involvement with the US in creating a North American Security state corridor sanitare. What is possible is closer US Canadian military and securtiy ties which will surely happen under Burney's watch in the PMO.

Don't go looking for armed icebreakers on the horizon, either, he said.

"That is way too expensive for the short term and, I think, a bit crazy, to be honest," Mr. Middlemiss said.

Mr. O'’Connor defended the plan as a means to maintain control over the North.

"American icebreakers have been able to go right to the geographic North Pole," he said. "They can go anywhere up there, and we can't. That'’s our territory; there are vast resources up there, and we've got to start enforcing our sovereignty."

While claiming to be converted on the road to Damascus as being opposed to the Bush War in Iraq, we maintain troops in Afghanistan, something that will have to change. We cannot afford Harpers military promises while maintaining forces there in the heart of darkness being used as cannon fodder as the Americans pull out.

It is interesting to see the Cato Institute the American right wing tank take on this and how it dove tails with Derek Burneys view of Canadian U.S. Relations. In the opinion piece below they refer to Michael Hart who is an associate of Bureny's. To Americans increased military spending would indicate a move towards better bilateral relations between our two countries. Not
sovereignty.

Ottawa's backward anti-Americanism
Washington Times, DC - 29 Dec 2005

Speaking earlier this year at the Washington-based Canada Institute, Carleton University's Michael Hart underscored the costs associated with America-baiting. According to Mr. Hart, Canada's preference for a multilateralist foreign policy is unrealistic because the urge to differentiate Canadian from American policy leads to policies that are at odds with Canada's national interest.
Under successive Liberal governments, Canada became a nagging liability to American policymakers over everything from Kyoto to the International Criminal Court, from missile defense to military intervention. This approach directly undermines Canadian prosperity because it harms Canada's relationship with the United States.
An alternative approach is the model artfully practiced by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in the 1980s. Mr. Mulroney grasped the nettle: Closer relations with the U.S., the most powerful nation in history, must be a Canadian priority. Active accommodation with her southern neighbor was pragmatic because that is where Canada's interests lie. The 1988 Free Trade Agreement that underpinned the past decade of Canadian economic growth epitomized this approach.
Mr. Harper should explain to Canadians that bilateralism reinforces multilateralism. If Americans saw Canada as a more reliable partner, Canada would be more influential around the world because she would be more influential in Washington.
Charles Doran, director of Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, observes that Canada does foreign policy on the cheap. Canada has been free riding on the American taxpayer for defense and security for 60 years. This free-rider status is starting to grate on American policymakers.


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3 comments:

Andrew said...

The CPC stance on BMD all election was: if the Americans bring it up, we'll asl parliament to decide whether or not we should sign on. The CPC will only support signing on if it is shown to be in Canada's interests to do so.

It's not in the platform because the entire thing is hypothetical - if the Americans do not bring up the issue, then it will remain a dead issue.

eugene plawiuk said...

Don't be naive Burney is all about pushing BMD as part of ingratiating ourselves back with the American Establishment. While it may formely be a dead issue it signals to the US its time to do business with Canada again.

uk4ua said...

I think President Harper is the most pro-american leader in the world.....at least the most we as Canada have had. He'll take down to where the USA wants us. Another banana republic. He's scary that is true.