recentpopularlog in

jerryking : multilateralism   9

The U.S. is sinking. Maybe it's time for Canada to jump ship.
Oct 30, 2019 | Macleans.ca | by Scott Gilmore.

Things are not going well for American foreign policy. At the geopolitical level, tectonic shifts in world power are leading to a relative decline in American dominance.......Institutionally, the U.S. State Department is in utter disarray......Donald Trump is steering from one collision to another.....we can speculate whether the U.S. decline is an inevitable result of historical political and demographic trends. Or whether it's entirely due to Donald Trump.....whether incompetence or fate, there is no question the American ship of state is leaking badly. The question we should now be asking ourselves, as Canadians, is whether we should help bail or build our own raft.....The instinctive answer is to grab a bucket......In the halls of Global Affairs Canada, the orthodoxy is that we sink or swim with Washington, and therefore, when the Trump circus finally leaves town, we should undoubtedly be there to help rebuild American prestige and influence wherever we can.

But—what if we didn’t? What if we simply boarded our own raft, or paddled over to another ally? What if we decided to “Trump-proof” Canada? What if we consciously and ambitiously began to build a new foreign policy alignment in anticipation of the next American wreck?.....Who else supports human rights, a rules-based international system and strong Western institutions like NATO? The obvious answer is the EU......we are far more likely to achieve our common goals of multilateralism and the rule of law if we join forces more closely. As Canada’s diplomats begin to brief Canada’s next government on the menu of foreign policy options, it would be nice to think that there is a tiny footnote that points out this one small but true idea—when it comes to Washington, there are other options.
America_in_Decline?  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  beyondtheU.S.  Donald_Trump  EU  foreign_policy  generating_strategic_options  geopolitics  Global_Affairs_Canada  imperial_overstretch  international_system  middle-powers  multilateralism  retreats  rules-based  rule_of_law  Scott_Gilmore  seismic_shifts  Trump-proofing  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S._State_Department  Washington_D.C. 
november 2019 by jerryking
China is changing the geopolitical climate. Canada has to mitigate, and adapt
MAY 16, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | EDITORIAL.

So what’s Canada to do? In the long run, Canadian governments dealing with Beijing need to keep four things in mind.

China is more threat than opportunity. Unlike our other major trading partners, China is not a democratic, rule-of-law country. There was once hope China could behave as a rule-of-law country internationally, even as it remained a dictatorship at home. There was also a belief that China’s economic advances would lead to an opening up of its political system. That hasn’t happened. If anything, the Xi Jinping regime is turning back the clock on individual freedoms.

That lack of Chinese political liberalization is at the root of what is fast turning into a new Cold War. Among the problems: In a world of liberalized trade, the rules end up benefiting the totalitarian state, since its companies can access the protections of our legal system, while our companies are subject to perfectly legal shakedowns in China.

China is not our enemy. But it is not our friend. There was once a fantasy that friendship would be as easy as establishing personal connections with Beijing’s ruling circle. They would surely melt at the mention of the sainted memory of Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who followed Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic and murderer of millions.

Mao wasn’t a sentimental man and neither are his heirs.

To counterbalance China, we need allies. Canada has long worked to build multilateral alliances to give us a bit of leverage when dealing with our giant neighbour, the United States. The giant across the ocean presents a similar, but more troubling, challenge. The good news is we have natural allies. That list includes the U.S., at least in the post-Trump world. It includes the European Union. And it includes China’s worried democratic neighbours: Japan and South Korea.

We need to avoid becoming trade-dependent on China. We have natural allies who want to do likewise. That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be about. That’s what pursuing greater and freer trade with Japan and South Korea is about.

Canada should never aim to shut down trade with China. But we have to make sure the future doesn’t leave us without room to manoeuvre, or to push back.
adaptability  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  China_rising  delusions  disillusioned  editorials  geopolitics  hostages  Huawei  kidnappings  Meng_Wanzhou  multilateralism  predatory_practices  reprisals  rogue_actors  threats  totalitarian  TPP  Xi_Jinping 
may 2019 by jerryking
Donald Trump has ushered in a new global order. Here’s how Canada can protect itself -
JANUARY 21, 2019 |The Globe and Mail | COLIN ROBERTSON.
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 21 HOURS AGO
UPDATED
Colin Robertson is vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
building_codes  bullying  Canada  climate_change  maritime  multilateralism  new_normal  post-WWII  rogue_actors  rules-based  Thucydides  Donald_Trump  international_system  self-protection 
january 2019 by jerryking
Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTIAN LEUPRECHT AND ROGER BRADBURY
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  collateral_damage  crossborder  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum  NAFTA  Bretton_Woods 
june 2018 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  worldviews  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ
Aug. 29, 2014 | WSJ | By HENRY KISSINGER.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
U.S.foreign_policy  Henry_Kissinger  geopolitics  dual-consciousness  crisis  Kissinger_Associates  strategic_thinking  strategy  questions  21st._century  international_system  grand_strategy  history  national_identity  unilateralism  multilateralism  arduous  APNSA 
august 2014 by jerryking
Where Obama Shines - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: July 19, 2012

it should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment. Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox. ...Obama has shown a good ability to combine a realist, power-politics mind-set with a warm appreciation of democracy and human rights....Obama has also shown an impressive ability to learn along the way....Obama has managed ambiguity well. ...Obama has also dealt with uncertainty pretty well....Obama has also managed the tension between multilateral and unilateral action...And, partly as a result of his efforts, the world of foreign affairs is relatively uncontentious right now. Foreign policy is not a hot campaign issue.
U.S.foreign_policy  Obama  David_Brooks  unilateralism  multilateralism  foxes  hedgehogs 
july 2012 by jerryking
Open Canada to the world’s new ways
June 9, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Edward Greenspon. "As
Canada moves down the ranks, from the world’s seventh-largest economy to
10th and lower, it must navigate the rise of Asia, the relative decline
of the U.S. and the sudden creation of a new multilateralism, among
other game-changers. How do we play this once-in-a-century period of
global disruption?
The Canadian International Council asked a panel of Canadians, a
post-Cold War digital generation largely in its 30s and 40s, to come up
with a new blueprint. Our report, Open Canada: A Global Positioning
Strategy for a Networked Age, offers bold and original policies and
strategies within the realm of the possible. " We call our report Open
Canada because we think we can prosper by being the most open country in
the world: open to ideas and investment; open to newcomers and new
ways; open to partnerships and networks at home and abroad; open to
competition and the uncompromising pursuit of excellence.
borderless  policy  Canada  Canadian  foreign_policy  Edward_Greenspon  openness  decline  America_in_Decline?  one-time_events  blueprints  game_changers  multilateralism 
june 2010 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read