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Question 4: Security

In promoting the security of Canadians, where should our priorities lie? Should Canada give a higher priority to military combat operations? To sectors such as intelligence gathering and analysis? Or should we focus on broader security measures, such as combatting environmental degradation and the spread of infectious disease? What should be our distinctive role in promoting global security?



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Date: 2003-05-01 18:34:18
In reviewing previous submissions many common notes are present. One note is the total support for military combat cabilities vs. total lack of support for military combat capabilities. The other note is mixing of Canadian policy with American policy. I would like to address both notes now.

The First Note.

We have a military to project power. Over the past 10 years in particular, but generally the cold war area, the military was slowly contracted so that key abilities and equipment were lost. For example we are one of the largest economies without an aircraft carriers - even Brazil, a small economy, has one. We are unable to project our power effectively if we don't have the manpower, knowledge, and equipment. To fix this difficulty dramatic increase in manpower and troop education is needed with key investments in equipment and technology.

Some response stated "who is the enemy - no one will attack Canada". This is faulty reasoning as there are two types of enemies symmetrical and asymmetrical. The symmetrical, or nations, enemies are now quite small but a strong multilateral UN based response will be needed except when speed is needed (i.e. Rwanada). This enemy might not be targeting Canada directly but is targeting the international order or the stability of a region. The asymmetrical, or non-nations, enemies are the most devious. We are unsure of who they are but they do have one goal in mind mental defeat. They will attack the stability of the international system.

Note Two.

The second note is mixing of Canadian policy with American policy. Some suggest that what the Americans have done in the past was support by Canada - for example giving weapons to terrorist organizations. This is quite unsupportable as this has never happened. If we use the example of Rwanda - France gave weapons to one group to overthrow the democratic government. Russia in times past gave weapons - expecially in the mideast. The US is the extreme example of giving weapons to the terrorist groups and even Iraq. Canada has never done this.

There is also the response that what is good for the US is good for Canada. We have common goals, along with our NATO allies, with the US - keeping stability. We do not, however, have the same response as our allies in all cases. We should be strong in supporting international development - enviromental, poverty, lack of justice, etc - but not solely concentrated on this. We should have a balanced military and development response not a solely military response, like some of our allies, or a solely development, like some of our smaller allies.
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