Putting A Swagger Into Foreign Policy

Posted on Saturday, March 17 at 12:08 by 4Canada
Decades ago, Lester Pearson famously commented: "Foreign policy is merely domestic policy with its hat on." Now, when Canadians go abroad they are more likely to wear a helmet. No longer the good-scout peacekeeper, there's new toughness and even some swagger in the way Harper's government's and Hillier's troops walk through the global village. It was obvious last summer when the Prime Minister abandoned Canada's traditional neutrality and nuances to take one side in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. It is even more evident in Afghanistan where reconstruction is the rhetorical sugar coating on a bitter conflict. Canada's unequivocal position on a complex border clash and Harper's arguably reckless rush to extend the Kandahar tour to 2009 are more than just reflex responses to the helter-skelter challenges of a post-cold war, post-9/11 world. They are the philosophically coherent, if politically controversial, result of a new, tightly focused and equally tightly held international perspective. Instead of caring about everyone and everything a Conservative charge more accurately targeted at ineffective aid than effective multilateralism Harper has two dominating priorities. While he is nostalgic enough to again hang the Queen's portrait in the cabinet room and worried enough about the neighbourhood to muse about the hemisphere, what really matters are the United States and Afghanistan. http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/192963

Note: http://www.thestar.com/...

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