Northwest Passage


China reveals plans to ship cargo across Canada’s Northwest Passage 1

As Yogi used to say, ‘Deja vu all over again!’ As in the late 1980s, the strategic importance of the Arctic rises to near the top of our national concerns. By far the greatest part of that concern should be for accident prevention in those waters closely followed by rescue […]

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Why Canada needs to look to the seas*

*Moderator’s Note: This Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute op-ed [link to original] appeared in The Globe and Mail on 13 May 2014. It is reprinted here with the permission of CDFAI. Lest we forget. On Parliament Hill last week we marked the end of our Afghanistan mission. We also […]

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U.S., Canada Expand Arctic Cooperation, Military Training

This week both the American and Canadian governments released the details of a “Tri-Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation” that would more closely coordinate the work of the U.S. Northern Command, Canada’s Joint Operational Command and NORAD in the arctic. While noting that the arctic region is not an area of […]

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What exactly do we mean by Canadian arctic sovereignty and is it at risk?

There appear to be few internationally contentious issues that Canada faces regarding its claims of sovereignty over its arctic landmasses, including its archipelago, aside from a minor challenge concerning Hans Island. The situation in the Arctic Ocean and its adjoining waters is less clear. While several minor maritime boundary challenges […]

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Is Canada an Arctic Nation or a Maritime Nation?

It was probably some speechwriter in Ottawa who fed his political master the catchy phrase for describing Canada as a country ‘from coast, to coast, to coast’. The introduction of this phrase fragmented the image of Canada’s coastline into three segments that has likely impeded Canadian maritime policy formulation. Successive […]

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Learning from others’ mistakes

There are many lessons to be learned from the sinking of MV Explorer. An article from the Maritime Journal contains a detailed report on the inquiry’s findings.  Already, the U.S. is recommending new regulations to control commercial shipping in the antarctic region. The inquiry states that, despite extensive experience in […]

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Mixed messages from U.S. naval leaders on international relations

My Broadside of November 26, 2008 was based on the recently released U.S. National Intelligence Council publication Global Trends 2025. It foresees the diminution of U.S. global power and influence due to a combination of trends, events and the changing relative strengths of emerging countries, NGOs, and non state actors. […]

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The Future of U.S. Global Dominance at Sea: An end to history?

The United States National Intelligence Council (NIC) has released its report entitled Global Trends 2025. The report foresees a world that is faced with ever increasing population and ever dwindling resources. It is also a world where the dominance of the United States of America continues to diminish as economic […]

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This is no time to hesitate – Act!

If we keep on dithering with Arctic Ocean policy, it will be the ‘Arctic Desert’ before the academics, politicians, military and bureaucrats get anything done – and by then it will be too late to do anything. Clearly we need to establish our footprint on, over and under the Canadian […]

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Implications for Canada (II)

Brian Wentzell has carefully researched his post and correctly identified that for all the soft power implied in it the strategy will, at the end of the day, be used to advance American interests. However, I also think he may then have conjured additional dangers without providing strong evidence of […]

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