Canada, strategic defence, and strategic stability by ProQuest


Canada was comfortable with the [Bill Clinton] administration's policies since they mirrored Ottawa's two tracks. A support for strategic stability continued to occupy an important place on the Canadian foreign policy agenda following the end of the Cold War. An issue of particular importance for the Liberal government of Jean Chrtien was the preservation of the ABM treaty. Chretien's government urged Russia and the United States to uphold the principles of strategic stability and remain faithful to the treaty that symbolized that stability. Lloyd Axworthy, Canada's minister of foreign affairs (1995-2000), was an especially vocal supporter of the ABM treaty. However, the Chrtien government was not categorically opposed to missile defence. As its predecessors had done in 1985, the Chrtien Liberals kept open the possibility of Canada's eventual participation in BMD.15 Similarly, Ottawa retained the two-track approach to nuclear politics; while Canadian politicians and diplomats discouraged an American withdrawal from the ABM treaty, the Department of National Defence encouraged the government to be flexible about missile defence matters. The Chrtien government spoke about Canada's support of the ABM treaty loudly and often, but Ottawa was not opposed to American missile defence research and a Canadian role in a future BMD system was never discounted. As long as the ABM treaty was in place, Ottawa expressed discontent with the Americans' BMD musings. Were the US to withdraw from the ABM treaty, however, the Chrtien government recognized that Canada's longstanding aversion to BMD might need to be reassessed. Thankfully for Ottawa, the Clinton administration stalled the deployment of BMD and protected the ABM treaty. As long as leaders in Ottawa and Washington agreed on the desirability of maintaining the ABM treaty, Canada enjoyed a wide margin of maneuverability on strategic defence matters.On 13 June 2002, the United States withdrew from the ABM treaty. There was no l

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									Philippe Lagassé

Canada, strategic
defence, and
strategic stability
A retrospective and look ahead

Canada has contributed to North American strategic defence, and been an ar-
dent proponent of strategic stability, since the early Cold War. Though seem-
ingly compatible, Canada’s involvement in continental strategic defence and
advocacy of strategic stability has been nagged by an underlying contradiction.
As part of its contribution to the strategic defence of the continent, Canada has
tacitly endorsed and facilitated the United States’ offensi
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