Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I've been watching "Good Will Hunting" too many times.

So, you might have doubted the ol' CH, but it has been confirmed by INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS that Canada is irrelevant. Or, at least its well on its way.

A study by the Canadian Institute for International Affairs surveyed over 40 senior politicians, diplomats and such to quantify Canada's position in the world.

Guess what? We don't mean much on the world stage.

I find it ironic that the same people who are the first to claim "peacekeeping" as something that makes them Canadian, are the same ones who draft alternative budgets that call for cuts to the military.

Here's the money quote: "For all intents and purposes, you are no longer here."

That's something to be proud of. You know, I've mentioned this before--we have a "comittment capability gap". We overpromise and underdeliver. Often. Whether its NATO, the UN or Afganistan, we just ain't pulling our weight.

And its affecting our role in the world. At the very least, we should do what many defense and foreign policy experts have suggested--train and fully equip at least a mobile brigade.

As the author, Robert Greenhill, states:

"Everybody from the Africans, to the Americans to the Europeans said Canada having an autonomous mobile brigade that could actually get into tough regions quickly and be there for a couple of months at a time, would make a huge difference," he said.

"First, is that few people can do it today. Secondly, those who can, like the Americans and British, are often seen as compromised politically. Whereas Canada coming in with the Maple Leaf, with civility, is seen as very useful."

When people think you're useful, they want to keep you around. When they want to keep you around, they will likely want to keep you happy. When they want to keep you happy, they will be open to your suggestions on lot of things.

See the payoff here, folks?

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