Canadian Foreign Policy Analysis

1150 Words5 Pages
Since WWII, Canada has pursued a foreign policy that has been very consistence. As a "middle power," with a focus towards humanitarianism and multilateralism, Canada has always made efforts to keep strong ties with the US and UK, while reaching out to the rest of the world. Since 2006, Canada has successfully negotiated a global economic recession, drastically changed its foreign policy and intensified its stake in the worldwide oil market. However, Canada continues to be seen as a pawn in the game. As a country with strong ties to the UK that also exists in the shadow of the worlds superpower, Canada has been accused of not being independent; that it “truly lacks an international policy and is susceptible to blindly following our closest…show more content…
As a former British colony and neighbor of the United States, Canada has constantly negotiated a conservative and largely conciliatory foreign policy path by working through international entities like the UN. It has, however, established its own “Canadian style” of foreign policy that makes a difference on the world stage, particularly in humanitarian aid and peacekeeping efforts. Canada's foreign policy is focused on the “three Ds” (defense, diplomacy, and development) and reflects the nature of Canadian society, characterized by “stability, a penchant for compromise, and a distinct disinclination for rapid political change (Bromke and Nossal 47). Canadian foreign policy has been shaped by the subdued national character of Canada. Canadian policy makers “have long championed the idea that Canada should always be pragmatic and cautious in its deeds and rhetoric, and shy away from overly divisive or belligerent actions that would threaten the country’s reputation as a calm, honest, friendly nation.” (Bow and Lennox 61). This natural tendency away from belligerent and unnecessary conflict – such as Vietnam and Iraq - has also been balanced with a long history of honorable military service when truly necessary, such as WWII and more recently in…show more content…
The reliance on trade with the U.S. could be seen as a weakness. However, it is clearly a strength. There is a mutual dependence that has helped both Canada and the U.S. develop in a partnership that is mutually beneficial. In “Growing Independence in Canadian-American Relations”, John W. Holmes examines the ways Canada has gone its own way diplomatically. He argues that Canada has consistently resisted American influence when it went against Canadian interests and values. Throughout the Cold War, Canada pursued a “fairly independent foreign policy, challenging the US over its policies in Indochina, rejecting the US approach to Cuba following Fidel Castro’s takeover, and criticizing some of its policies in central and Latin America” ( Holmes 22). Clearly these are not the actions of a country that “blindly follows” the

More about Canadian Foreign Policy Analysis

Open Document