Monday, November 29, 2004


Halleluiah! A Liberal understands the "commitment-capability gap" we here at CH have been talking about.

"In a bluntly worded essay published in the International Journal, Thomas Axworthy outlines how Canada has lost so much influence with the U.S. and offers a prescription for how to correct the problem.
"Americans respect power and we have not been prepared to pay for our power assets," writes Mr. Axworthy. "Therefore, while Americans continue to like us, they no longer respect us; that is a terrible position for a proud, wealthy, activist middle power."
He writes that "prestige is the currency of international relations" and that countries gain that reputation by being known as effective players in defence, diplomacy or development.
But in recent decades, budget cuts have steadily diminished Canada's capacity to be effective in those areas -- which means it is now critical to dramatically reinvest to restore this country's influence in Washington.
"Canadian pronouncements are now often ignored because there is nothing behind the words. Canada's vulnerability has increased, not because of an independent stance on critical issues, but because we no longer have the capacity to be effective or make a difference."
Mr. Axworthy writes that of the "three Ds" (defence, diplomacy and development), it is this nation's cuts to defence that have fallen the farthest."

Only one problem--the author, Thomas Axworthy, was a senior aide to Trudeau. It was Trudeau that began the slide Canada' military is currently enjoying by drastically reducing our commitments in NATO.

Oh well--sometimes it take a decade or so for people to to see the errors of their ways.

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