Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 137–164 | Cite as

Why Canada is best explained as a ‘reliable ally’ in 2017

  • J. R. McKayEmail author


The Trudeau government has a deep philosophical attachment to liberal internationalism, yet its actions suggest otherwise. In 2017, its behaviour, operationalised in terms of changes to defence spending, deployments of military personnel overseas and the employment of strategic narratives, lend more weight to ‘reliable ally’ explanations. The Trump Administration, with its criticism of NATO and concern about burden-sharing, represented an intervening variable. Canada’s actions, while certainly self-interested, also represented an effort to persuade the Trump Administration that NATO was neither obsolete nor a club of states free-riding on American largesse as a means of shoring up the alliance.


NATO Canada burden-sharing defence spending military operations 


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© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Royal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada

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