Advertisement

Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 61–78 | Cite as

Canadian grand strategy and lessons learned

  • David Pratt
Article

Abstract

The nature of Canada’s international role has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, especially since 9/11. This article explores the extent to which it is possible to discern elements of a Canadian ‘grand strategy’ since the end of the Second World War and argues that, during the Cold War in particular, Canadian policy-makers laid the foundations for such a strategy. Drawing on the work of a number of Canadian writers and statesmen, the author identifies several basic principles that have underpinned Canadian foreign policy since 1945 and suggests that they still hold relevance today as Canada re-examines its international contribution in the twenty-first century.

Keywords

grand strategy Canada North Atlantic Triangle Cold War foreign policy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    This article is based on the Ross Ellis Lecture series delivered by the author on June 12–14, 2007 at the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. The lectures were entitled ‘Is there a grand strategy in Canadian foreign policy?’Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War (New York: Barnes and Noble, 2003).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carl von Clausewitz, On War (London: Oxford University Press, 2007).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    B.H. Liddell Hart, Defense of the West (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1970); and Deterrent or Defense: A Fresh Look at the West’s Military Position (Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2007).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Edward Meade Earle, ed., Makers of Modern Strategy: Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1943), viii.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liddell Hart, Defense of the West.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paul Kennedy, ed., Grand Strategies in War and Peace (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 5.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    George Kennan, American Diplomacy, 1900–50 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Perhaps the major attempt to interleave a reckoning of Canada’s international situation with a narrative of its foreign and defence policies was the series of five volumes produced by James Eayrs. See James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964–83).Google Scholar
  10. 9a.
    See also R.J. Sutherland, ‘Canada’s Long Term Strategic Situation’, International Journal XVII, no. 3 (Summer 1962): 199–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 10.
    David G. Haglund, The North Atlantic Triangle Revisited: Canadian Grand Strategy at Century’s End (Toronto: Irwin Publishing/Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 2000)Google Scholar
  12. 10a.
    see also David G. Haglund, ‘Brebner’s North Atlantic Triangle at Sixty: A Retrospective Look at a Retrospective Book’, London Journal of Canadian Studies 20 (2004–05): 117–140.Google Scholar
  13. 11.
    John Bartlet Brebner, North Atlantic Triangle: The Interplay of Canada, the United States and Great Britain (New Haven, CT, Toronto and London: Yale University Press, The Ryerson Press and Oxford University Press, 1945).Google Scholar
  14. 11a.
    See also Edgar McInnis, The Atlantic Triangle and the Cold War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1959)Google Scholar
  15. 11b.
    B.J.C. McKercher and Lawrence Aronsen (eds), The North Atlantic Triangle in a Changing World: Anglo-American-Canadian Relations, 1902–1956 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  16. 11c.
    C.C. Eldridge, Kith and Kin: Canada, Britain and the United States from the Revolution to the Cold War (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1997)Google Scholar
  17. 11d.
    Tony McCulloch, ‘Revisiting the North Atlantic Triangle: The Brebner Thesis after 60 Years’, London Journal of Canadian Studies 20 (2004–05): 1–4Google Scholar
  18. 11e.
    Hector Mackenzie, ‘Delineating the North Atlantic Triangle: The Second World War and Its Aftermath’, Round Table 95, no. 383 (January 2006): 101–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 12.
    Haglund, North Atlantic Triangle Revisited, ix–x.Google Scholar
  20. 13.
    Ibid., 15.Google Scholar
  21. 14.
    Ibid., 20–1.Google Scholar
  22. 15.
    Ibid., 21–5.Google Scholar
  23. 16.
    Ibid., 59.Google Scholar
  24. 17.
    Ibid., 92.Google Scholar
  25. 18.
    Ibid., 94.Google Scholar
  26. 19.
    Ibid., 94.Google Scholar
  27. 20.
    The Right Honourable Louis St. Laurent, Secretary of State for External Affairs, The Foundations of Canadian Policy in World Affairs, The Duncan and John Gray Memorial Lecture, University of Toronto, 13 January 1947. For recent discussion of the Gray Lecture, see Robert Bothwell, Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945–1984 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007)Google Scholar
  28. 20a.
    Adam Chapnick, ‘The Gray Lecture and Canadian Citizenship in History’, The American Review of Canadian Studies 37, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 443–58; Hector Mackenzie, ‘Shades of Gray? “The Foundations of Canadian Policy in World Affairs” in Context’, The American Review of Canadian Studies, 459–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 21.
    St Laurent, Foundations of Canadian Foreign Policy, para. 10.Google Scholar
  30. 22.
    Ibid., para. 14.Google Scholar
  31. 23.
    Ibid., para. 15.Google Scholar
  32. 24.
    Ibid., para 16.Google Scholar
  33. 25.
    Ibid., para 18.Google Scholar
  34. 26.
    Ibid., para. 19.Google Scholar
  35. 27.
    Ibid., para. 20.Google Scholar
  36. 28.
    William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 5.Google Scholar
  37. 29.
    For an excellent brief account of the international context of St Laurent’s Gray lecture, see the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/department/history/canada7-en.asp, 1945–57: A Divided World.Google Scholar
  38. 30.
    For Mackenzie King, see C.P. Stacey, Canada and the Age of Conflict, Vol. 2, 1921–48: The Mackenzie King Era (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  39. 31.
    Lester B. Pearson, Mike (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 3 vols, 1972–75).Google Scholar
  40. 32.
    Sir Winston S. Churchill, The Sinews of Peace, Speech to Westminster College, Fulton, MO, 5 March 1946.Google Scholar
  41. 33.
    George Kennan to Secretary of State, The Long Telegram, Moscow, 22 February 1946. Foreign Relations of the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1946).Google Scholar
  42. 34.
    X, ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct’, Foreign Affairs, July 1947.Google Scholar
  43. 35.
    For Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, see Robert J. Donovan, Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945–1948 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1996)Google Scholar
  44. 35a.
    David McCullough, Truman (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993).Google Scholar
  45. 36.
    For origins of NATO, see Lawrence S. Kaplan, NATO Divided, NATO Divided: The Evolution of an Alliance (New York: Praeger, 2004)Google Scholar
  46. 36a.
    Peter Duignan, NATO: A History (New York: Hoover Institution Press, 2001).Google Scholar
  47. 37.
    Lord Ismay, Memoirs of Lord Ismay (Montana: Kessenger Publishing, 2007).Google Scholar
  48. 38.
    Louis St Laurent, Speech to United Nations General Assembly, 18 September 1947.Google Scholar
  49. 39.
    Pearson, Mike, 56.Google Scholar
  50. 40.
    Article II, NATO Treaty, 4 April 1949, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  51. 41.
    Pearson, Mike, 56.Google Scholar
  52. 42.
    For Canada and the origins of NATO, see Escott Reid, Time of Fear and Hope: The Making of the North Atlantic Treaty, 1947–1949 (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart, 1977)Google Scholar
  53. 42a.
    James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada: Growing Up Allied (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980)Google Scholar
  54. 42b.
    Hector Mackenzie, ‘Canada, the Cold War and the Negotiation of the North Atlantic Treaty’, in Diplomatic Documents and Their Users, eds John Hilliker and Mary Halloran (Ottawa: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1995), 145–73Google Scholar
  55. 42c.
    Hector Mackenzie, ‘The North Atlantic Triangle and the North Atlantic Treaty: A Canadian Perspective on the ABC Security Conversations of March-April 1948’, London Journal of Canadian Studies 20 (2004–05): 89–116.Google Scholar
  56. 43.
    For Trudeau, see J.L. Granatstein and Robert Bothwell, Pirouette: Pierre Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Policy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991)Google Scholar
  57. 43a.
    also Pierre Trudeau, Memoirs (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart, 1994).Google Scholar
  58. 44.
    Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Book 1, Chapter 1.Google Scholar
  59. 45.
    Stephen Biddle, Afghanistan and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy (Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2004). Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).Google Scholar
  60. 46.
    Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (New York: Knopf, 2003), 4.Google Scholar
  61. 47.
    Paul Martin, A Role of Pride and Influence in the World (Ottawa: Government of Canada 2005).Google Scholar
  62. 48.
    Harold Nicolson, The Congress of Vienna, A Study in Allied Unity: 1815–1822 (London: Constable, 1948), vii.Google Scholar
  63. 49.
    St Laurent, Foundations of Canadian Foreign Policy, para. 35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Pratt
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs InstituteCanada

Personalised recommendations