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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Is The Democratic Alliance a Ticket to (Free) Ride? Canada’s “Imperial Commitments,” From The Interwar Period to the Present

  • David G. Haglund
  • Stéphane Roussel
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Quoted in David G. Haglund, The North Atlantic Triangle Revisited: Canadian Grand Strategy at Century’s End, Contemporary Affairs no. 4 (Toronto: Canadian Institute of International Affairs/Irwin, 2000), p. 18.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Kim Richard Nossal, “Defending the ‘Realm’: Canadian Strategic Culture Revisited,” International Journal 59 (Summer 2004): 503–20.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    This interpretative trend was already well established by the midpoint of the Cold War; see Stephen Clarkson, ed., An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada? (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For a comprehensive analysis of the concept, see Michael W. Doyle, Empires (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For a discussion of the pros and cons of military interoperability between the Canadian Forces and the US military, see Ann L. Griffiths, ed., The Canadian Forces and Interoperability: Panacea or Perdition? (Halifax: Dalhousie University Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, 2002).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Here we follow the usage established in Geir Lundestad, The American “Empire” and Other Studies of U.S. Foreign Policy in a Comparative Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For a useful introduction to the controversies associated with DPT, see Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller, eds., Debating the Democratic Peace (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Among the dissenters are Errol A. Henderson, Democracy and War: The End of an Illusion? (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2002)Google Scholar
  9. 8a.
    Dan Reiter, “Why NATO Enlargement Does Not Spread Democracy,” International Security 25 (Spring 2001): 41–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 8b.
    and Thomas Schwartz and Kiron K. Skinner, “The Myth of the Democratic Peace,” Orbis 46 (Winter 2002): 159–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Michael W. Doyle, “Reflections on the Liberal Peace and Its Critics,” in Debating the Democratic Peace, p. 361.Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    Philippe C. Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl, “What Democracy Is... and Is Not,” Journal of Democracy 2 (Summer 1991): 76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 11.
    Numerous authors have drawn attention to a Canadian tendency to neglect the country’s own armed forces and rely instead on those of its allies; see Desmond Morton, “Defending the Indefensible: Some Historical Perspectives on Canadian Defence, 1867–1967,” International Journal 42 (Autumn 1987): 627–44Google Scholar
  14. 11a.
    Joseph T. Jockei and Joel J. Sokolsky, Canada and Collective Security: Odd Man Out? (New York: Praeger, 1986); andGoogle Scholar
  15. 11B.
    Joel J. Sokolsky, “Clausewitz, Canadian Style,” Canadian Military Journal 3 (Autumn 2002): 3–10.Google Scholar
  16. 12.
    See Stephen M. Walt, “Why Alliances Endure or Collapse,” Survival 39 (Spring 1997): 156–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 13.
    Thomas Risse-Kappen, Cooperation Among Democracies: The European Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 32.Google Scholar
  18. 14.
    Ibid. By the notion of “security community” is meant a grouping of states about which it can be said that they neither make war nor threaten to make it among themselves; they solve their disputes peacefully. On this notion, see Emanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, eds., Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). We will return to this belowGoogle Scholar
  19. 15.
    For a slightly different argument, which emphasizes the greater frequency of democratic states to ally, see Randolph M. Siverson and Juliann Emmons, “Birds of a Feather: Democratic Political Systems and Alliance Choices in the Twentieth Century,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 35 (June 1991): 285–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Joel J. Sokolsky, “Realism Canadian Style: National Security Policy and the Chrétien Legacy,” Policy Matters 5 (June 2004): 11.Google Scholar
  21. 17.
    As was apparent in the recent case of Canada’s refusal to follow the United States into war against Iraq; see Justin Massie and Stéphane Roussel, “Le dilemme canadien face à la guerre en Irak (ou l’art d’étirer un élastique sans le rompre),” in Diplomaties en guerre: Sept États face à la crise irakienne, ed. Alex Macleod (Montréal: Athéna, 2005), pp. 77–78.Google Scholar
  22. 18.
    See Diane B. Kunz, The Economie Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  23. 18a.
    On the dispute more generally, see Elizabeth Sherwood, Allies in Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 19.
    On the diplomacy attending this bilateral treaty and its aftermath, see David G. Haglund, Alliance within the Alliance? Franco-German Military Cooperation and the European Pillar of Defense (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 84–85.Google Scholar
  25. 20.
    A dispute well recounted in Elizabeth Pond, Friendly Fire: The Near-Death of the Transatlantic Alliance (Washington Brookings Institution Press, 2004).Google Scholar
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    On the abandonment problem in alliances, see Glenn H. Snyder, “The Security Dilemma in Alliance Politics,” World Politics 36 (July 1984): 461–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    William J. Dixon, “Democracy and the Peaceful Settlement of International Conflict,” American Political Science Review 88 (March 1994): 14–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 23.
    Some writers claim that democratic alliances work just as well, possibly even better, for their great-power leaders. This argument rests on an assumption, termed by some “strategic restraint,” that great powers will avail themselves of liberal-democratic practices and norms so as to “reduce the returns” to their own power in the short run in order to enhance their ability to lead over the longer term. This they do by giving their smaller partners a voice, via multilateralism and institutions, in collective decisionmaking. The argument is made most comprehensively in G. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  29. 24.
    Portions of this section and the next draw upon Stéphane Roussel, The North American Democratic Peace: Absence of War and Security Institution-Building in Canada-US Relations, 1867–1958 (Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
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    Richard Rohmer, Exxoneration (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974).Google Scholar
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    Robert L. Rothstein, Alliances and Small Powers (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 61Google Scholar
  32. 26a.
    Allen Sens, “Cooperation under Neo-realism: Bringing in the Small States of Central and Eastern Europe,” in Multilateralism and Regional Security, ed. Michel Fortmann, S. Neil MacFarlane, and Stéphane Roussel (Clementsport, NS: Canadian Peacekeeping Press, 1997), p. 191Google Scholar
  33. 26b.
    Jean-Claude Allain, “Principes et gestion des alliances à l’époque contemporaine,” Documents et enquêtes, no. 18 (1992), pp. 7–8.Google Scholar
  34. 27.
    In comparing Canadian-American relations with other bilateral cases, William T. R. Fox has noted: “Among the other pairs of neighbouring states of grossly unequal power - the Soviet Union and Finland, Germany and Austria, Germany and Denmark, Britain and Ireland, the United States and Mexico, India and Pakistan - Finland, Austria, Denmark, Pakistan and Mexico have all been invaded by their great neighbors in the twentieth century. The Irish had to fight a bitter war to bring an independent Irish state into being.” A Continent Apart: The United States and Canada in World Politics (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), p. 74.Google Scholar
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    See Dominique Moïsi, “Reinventing the West,” Foreign Affairs 82 (November/December 2003): 67–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    and Timothy Garton Ash, Free World: America, Europe, and the Surprising Future of the West (New York: Random House, 2004).Google Scholar
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    In this regard, see the six criteria of power postulated by Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979), p. 131.Google Scholar
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    See Stéphane Roussel, “Pearl Harbor et le World Trade Center: Le Canada face aux États-Unis en période de crise,” Études internationales 33 (December 2002): 667–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 30a.
    and David G. Haglund, “North American Cooperation in an Era of Homeland Security,” Orbis 47 (Fall 2003): 675–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Shelagh D. Grant, Sovereignty or Security? Government Policy in the Canadian North, 1936-1950 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1988), chaps 4 and 5.Google Scholar
  41. 32.
    No one knows exactly how many such agreements have been reached. The most recent compilation, made by the Bi-National Planning Group (BPG), lists at least 851 but mentions that some of these may no longer be operative. Bi-National Planning Group, The Final Report on Canada and the United States (CANUS) Enhanced Military Cooper¬ation, Peterson AFB (CO), 13 March 2006, Appendix G.Google Scholar
  42. 33.
    Among those who have best expressed this “anomalous” or “unique” condition are Robert O. Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little, Brown, 1977)Google Scholar
  43. 33a.
    chap. 7: Kalevi J. Holsti, “Canada and the United States,” in Conßct in World Politics, ed. Steven L. Spiegel and Kenneth N. Waltz (Cambridge: Winthrop, 1971), pp. 375–96; David Baldwin, “The Myths of the Special Relationship,” in An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada?, pp. 5–6Google Scholar
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    Donald Barry, “The Politics of ‘Exceptionalism’: Canada and the United States as a Distinctive International Relationship,” Dalhousie Review 60 (Spring 1980): 114–37Google Scholar
  45. 33d.
    John Kirton, “Canada and the United States: A More Distant Relationship,” Current History 79 (November 1980): 117Google Scholar
  46. 33d.
    and John Mueller, Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War (New York: Basic Books, 1989), pp. 240–50.Google Scholar
  47. 34.
    See Bruce Russett, Grasping the Democratic Peace: Principles for a Post-Cold War World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), pp. 43–71Google Scholar
  48. 34.
    and John M. Owen IV, Liberal Peace, Liberal War: American Politics and International Security (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997), pp. 15–16.Google Scholar
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    See above, note 14.Google Scholar
  50. 36.
    Mancur Olson and Richard Zeckhauser, “An Economic Theory of Alliances,” Review of Economics and Statistics 48 (August 1966): 266–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 37.
    John C. Blaxland, Strategic Cousins: Australian and Canadian Expeditionary Forces and the British and American Empires (Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006).Google Scholar
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    John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001), pp. 114–19.Google Scholar
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    Joel J. Sokolsky, “Over There With Uncle Sam: Peacekeeping, the ‘Trans-European Bargain’, and the Canadian Forces,” in What NATO for Canada?, ed. David G. Haglund, Martello Papers 23 (Kingston, ONT: Queen’s University Centre for International Relations, 2000), pp. 15–36, quote at pp. 31–32.Google Scholar
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    Paul Cellucci, Unquiet Diplomacy (Toronto: Key Porter, 2005), p. 75.Google Scholar
  55. 41.
    Our discussion in this and the following section is based on David G. Haglund, “‘Are We the Isolationists?’ North American Isolationism in a Comparative Context,” International Journal 58 (Winter 2002–3): 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 42.
    Fox, A Continent Apart.Google Scholar
  57. 43.
    Quoted in Joseph T. Jockel and Joel J. Sokolsky, “Dandurand Revisited: Rethinking Canada’s Defence Policy in an Unstable World,” International Journal 48 (Spring 1993): 380–401, quote at p. 380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    By strategic culture, we mean a set of cognitive symbols that policymakers depend upon when they contemplate the use of force in international relations. For an overview of the concept, see David G. Haglund, “What Good Is Strategic Culture? A Modest Defence of an Immodest Concept,” International Journal 54 (Summer 2004): 479–502.Google Scholar
  59. 45.
    Although during the Great War the feeling was growing that “empire” no longer adequately captured the relationship between Britain and the dominions who were fighting alongside it, it would not be until December 1921 that explicit reference was made to the British Commonwealth of Nations, in articles of agreement for a treaty between Britain and Ireland. See David Thomson, England in the Twentieth Century, 1914–1963 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963), pp. 74–75.Google Scholar
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    See Robert W. Tucker, A New Isolationism: Threat or Promise? (New York: Universe Books, 1972), p. 28.Google Scholar
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    As Kim Richard Nossal says that it was; see his The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, 3rd ed. (Scarborough: Prentice Hall Canada, 1997), pp. 139–40.Google Scholar
  62. 48.
    A view expressed, inter alios, by the Government of Canada, Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, For an Extra $130 Bucks… Update on Canada’s Military Financial Crisis: A View from the Bottom Up, 37th session (Ottawa: November 2002), p. 14.Google Scholar
  63. 49.
    On Canada’s leadership role in NATO’s formative period, between 1947 and 1949, see Robert A. Spencer, “Triangle into Treaty: Canada and the Origins of NATO,” in Ten Years of NATO: Four Articles by Couve de Murville, Lester B. Pearson, Robert A. Spencer, Michael Barkway (Toronto: Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 1959), pp. 9–20.Google Scholar
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    For this brief period of relative Canadian ascendancy in military affairs, see David J. Bercuson, “Canada, NATO, and Rearmament, 1950-1954: Why Canada Made a Difference (but Not for Very Long),” in Making a Difference? Canada’s Foreign Policy in a Changing World, ed. John English and Norman Hillmer (Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1992), pp. 104–5.Google Scholar
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    As late as the first few months following the Munich conference, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain considered Britain as likely to receive meaningful military support from the United States as it was from Canada - which is to say, not likely at all. Chamberlain held Canada to be the “weakest vessel in the [Commonwealth] team.” Quoted in Brian J. C. McKercher, “World Power and Isolationism: The North Atlantic Triangle in the Crises of the 1930,” in The North Atlantic Triangle in a Changing World: Anglo-American-Canadian Relations, 1902–1956, ed. McKercher and Lawrence Aronsen (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), p. 134. On Canadian repeated unwillingness to undertake security collaboration with other Commonwealth states during the 1920s and most of the 1930sGoogle Scholar
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    Desmond Morton, A Military History of Canada: From Champlain to the Gulf War, 3rd ed. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1992), p. 165. In comparison with the US, Canada may have suffered dearly, but if France is the referent, then Canada got off lightly; for of all the major powers who fought in that war, France bled the most profusely in relative terms, sustaining 1,397,000 combat deaths during the course of the conflict’s 1,560 days - an average of 890 a day.Google Scholar
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    Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, La Grande Guerre des Français: L’Incompréhensible (Paris: Perrin, 1994), p. 7.Google Scholar
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    As explained by a leading student of Canadian-American relations during the interwar years, “[l]ittle as the average American was aware of it, his somewhat patronizing benevolence toward Canada was met by a dislike which for a short period amounted almost to hatred.” Edgar W. Mclnnis, The Unguarded Frontier: A History of American-Canadian Relations (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, 1942), pp. 346–47.Google Scholar
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    and Eugene Staley, “The Myth of the Continents,” Foreign Affairs 19 (April 1941): 491–92. Canada maintained a less-expansive understanding of the doctrine of the two spheres, devoid of Latin American content, for as one former Canadian policymaker phrased it, “Canadians, never having shared the Washington-Bolivar mystique and the revolutionary republican tradition, have not taken very seriously the idea that they have special links with peoples of vastly different political traditions merely because they happen to be linked by an almost intraversable neck of land.”CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Jeffrey Simpson, “How the Middle East Changed Canadian Politics,” Globe and Mail, 18 October 2006, p. A21. In addition to the escalating casualties in Afghanistan, a mission that is more unpopular in Québec than in the rest of the country, the Harper government has lost ground in Québec because of its perceived tilt toward Israel in the summer 2006 conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Haglund
    • 1
  • Stéphane Roussel
    • 2
  1. 1.Queen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Université du Québec à MontréalCanada

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