NATO 101 Again

By Steve Saideman

Lots of folks are asking about NATO Article V in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.  So, let’s run through the basics, FAQ-style.

What is Article V?  The heart of the NATO treaty–that an attack upon one is equal to an attack upon all.
Is it automatic?  No.  NATO representatives have to meet and reach consensus.
What is consensus?  Does every member have a veto?  Yes/no.  While an individual country could block it, the more likely outcome is for less enthusiastic members to choose not to “break silence”, which is the NATO term for sticking one’s hand up and asking for modifications or refusing to go along.

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The Year Ahead: An International Security and Intelligence Outlook for 2016

On December 4th, at the War Museum, our Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies will be hosting a conference on the year ahead.  Our lineup is pretty awesome:

What does 2016 hold for international security?  Get the views of international experts from the US and Canada on December 4, 2015 at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

Hotspots: Where Might Instability & Conflict Occur in 2016? C. Christine Fair (Georgetown University) on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Will McCants (Brookings) on the Middle East & North Africa, and Miles Kahler (American University) on the South China Sea and East Asia

The Outlook for Stabilization Missions and Civilian Instruments: Clint Watts (Foreign Policy Research Institute) on Iraq & Syria, Thomas Juneau (University of Ottawa) on Iran and, Heather A. Conley (Center for Strategic & International Studies) on Russia

Keynote: Michael E. O’Hanlon (Brookings) The Future of Land Warfare

The Cyber Dimensions of Security: Ray Boisvert (Hill and Knowlton Strategies) on Cyber Threats to Economic Security, Catherine Lotrionte Yoran (Georgetown University) on Deterrence & Rules of the Road, and Bill Wright (Symantec) Partnerships and the Private Sector

The US and the Politics of International Security in 2016: Heather Hurlburt (New America) on The Obama Legacy and Joshua Rovner (Southern Methodist University) on US International Security Policy going forward

There will be a fee (food! coffee!) so register via EventBrite


Does Merging Improve Aid Efficiency?

By Rachael Calleja

In foreign aid, ‘efficiency’ (which is distinct from ‘effectiveness’) usually refers to the costs associated with administrating aid programs, that is, the costs of running aid agencies and activities related to ODA programming and delivery. Despite being necessary for operating an aid agency, administrative costs are frequently referred to as a negative function of ODA that donors seek to reduce. In Canada, for example, the 2007 Budget listed “improving efficiency through reduced administrative costs…” as a key way to improve the effectiveness of Canadian aid.

The 2013 merger of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to form the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) led some to speculate that the reorganisation would spark efficiency gains for the government by reducing the duplication of efforts and cutting administrative costs. While efficiency gains were not the main or official justification for the merger, which was said to improve the coherence of Canada’s foreign policy, some observers at the time remarked that job cuts and efficiency gains would be “hard to avoid”.

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Trudeau and his New Cabinet – A Representation of Transparency?

By Patrick Burchat 

On the beautiful and crisp morning of Wednesday, November 4th, Prime Minister Justin P. J. Trudeau gave Canadians their new, 31 member, cabinet. The atmosphere of Rideau Hall was one of jubilant optimism and heightened anticipation as each new cabinet Minister swore their oaths. The cause for such sentiment represents the expectation that the new government will be one of “Sunny Ways”.

Although this sentiment is always the case when a new government comes to power – as it goes through its honeymoon phase – its anticipation of major change is neither naïve nor unfounded. In looking at this new cabinet alone, several major differences stand out in contrast to previous cabinets. The first of which is the contested 50/50 gender split between male and female ministers; making the 29th cabinet the closest to having equal gender representation in Canadian history (15 female and 16 male). There is also a lot of new blood – 18 newly elected MPs – among these 31 Ministers who are poised to bring new ways of thinking and fresh energy into Canada’s policy-making procedure. Lastly, the cabinet draws on a diverse array of backgrounds; from a regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations to a decorated veteran and an accomplished international lawyer.

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Reframing the Global Health Debate

By Valerie Percival

Transition planners are laying the groundwork for Canada’s new government.  One issue that has received little mention as a key issue for the new government — global health — deserves more scrutiny.

Canada has the expertise to shine on the world stage.  Canadian scientists are often at the forefront of solutions to global health problems, undertaking cutting edge research and innovation.

But our government machinery is outdated.  We are unable to effectively engage with international initiatives and promote and showcase this expertise.  Sounds a bit boring and bureaucratic.  But it’s true.

The world of global health is a complex mess of institutions, private actors, donors and recipient countries, and countless international initiatives and commitments.  Hundreds of millions of dollars flow through the system.

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About Those F18s: Trudeau, Operation IMPACT, and the New Vision of Canada’s Military Engagement Abroad

By Adam Patillo

The announced departure of Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets from the Middle East by Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau came as a shock to many Canadians. To be sure, withdrawing from the combat mission in Iraq and Syria was a campaign promise of the Liberals—it was expected; just not in the way it unfolded. The congratulatory courtesy call from President Obama on the night of the election was hardly the avenue you would expect the incoming Prime Minister to utilize in announcing the withdrawal of his nation’s military from an important international multi-party coalition. With one campaign promise fulfilled so quickly, many marijuana users were surely brandishing their bongs in reveled anticipation.

Gibes aside, the unspecified end of Canada’s combat mission in the Middle East—Operation IMPACT—has left many guessing what the future of Canada’s military engagement abroad will look like. For starters, the demise of Operation IMPACT will in all likelihood involve the complete withdrawal of the entire Joint Task Force-Iraq contingent: 6 CF-188 fighter jets, one CC-150T aerial refueller, two CP-140M Aurora surveillance aircraft, and 600 support personnel. While critics may argue that Canada’s relatively small contribution to the 15 member US-led coalition is unlikely to bear significant operational impacts, they miss the symbolic importance of Canada’s military engagement. It’s not only what we Canadians believe in, it’s what we can afford.

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Doing More, Better: Reflections on the Future of Canadian Assistance to Haiti

By Gaëlle Rivard Piché

Ready for change. That was the Liberal Party’s main slogan during the Canadian electoral campaign that brought Justin Trudeau into power on October 19. It is also the state of Canada-Haiti relations after four years of sullenness due to a decline in Canadian funding for Haiti’s reconstruction and successive diplomatic faux pas.

After a decade of Conservative reign driven by hard-line security imperatives and a development strategy resolutely based on economic priorities, a new Liberal government suggests a change in Canadian foreign policy. Considering Trudeau’s commitment to restore Canada’s image abroad, what will be the Canadian role in the next chapter of Haiti’s development?

In 2004, Paul Martin’s Liberal government agreed to participate in a multilateral effort towards Haiti’s stabilization and reconstruction. Under the following Conservative governments, Haiti officially remained a priority, but a shift in the rationale for aid put a stop to several bilateral programs, including quick impact projects funded by the Department of Foreign Affaires and International Trade’s Stabilisation and Reconstruction Task Force. The reduction of the budget envelope had a direct impact on the ability of the Canadian embassy to engage with its Haitian counterparts. The lack of a clear strategy after the end of the earthquake recovery phase in 2012 also marginalized the role and the importance of Canada at the donors’ table. Canada still remains a key contributor to the MINUSTAH, the UN peace operation deployed since 2004, but the foreseen end of the mission after 2016 raises serious concerns about the future of international assistance.

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