Thursday, 2 April 2009

Canada - Out of Step With its Allies?

Some interesting reading in the Toronto Star, in the form of an analysis of Canada's role with the Atlantic Alliance. The Star says that:

It's not quite NATO's rogue state, but Canada is increasingly out of step with allies who are touting a new path to Afghan peace that leans heavily on regional powerhouses Russia and Iran. .. Defence Minister Peter MacKay's branding of Moscow as an Arctic provocateur and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to characterize the Iranian regime as "evil" in recent weeks is glaringly out of line with the efforts of U.S. President Barack Obama and other member countries in the Western military alliance who seek to draw in the sometimes-renegade states.

Of course, the current Canadian government is deeply conservative, and was ideologically far more in step with the Bush administration and its Manichean world view than it is with the more cooperative, less stark outlook of President Obama.

And at least for Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay, this matters. He has hopes, even now, that he might be the next NATO Secretary General. But with such a strong political divergence between Ottawa and Washington, not to mention Ottawa and Brussels, his chances look slimmer by the day.

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