Sutherland's assumptions

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  • Publicado : 4 de diciembre de 2011
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Sutherland’s assumptions now days

INTRODUCTION

After the World War II the international order was re-organized and two superpowers emerged – USA and USSR -, born the bipolar era. This time brought the nuclear weapon race and the Soviet threat to North America. This fact shapes Canada’s defence policies alongside with US’ security requirements[1] . Later with the advent of the end ofthe bipolar era, interests and goals of the States that make up the international political system led to the transformation of international relations in new forms of interaction. The main characteristic of this phase is the consolidation of the hegemonic role of the United States in the unipolar international system. Today United States has a hard influence not only in Canada’s foreign policy butalso in the rest of the world[2]. One of Canada’s strategic thinkers that tried to anticipate these international scenarios was J. Robert Sutherland[3]. In 1962 Sutherland wrote “Canada’s Long-Term Strategic Situation”[4].In his paper Sutherland taught that in the next century Canada’s security could be predicted considering certain invariants. Sutherland’s thesis was “there are certaininvariants of Canadian Strategy” that shape “the agenda of Canadian National Policy”[5]. These invariants are “...geography, economic strength and natural alliances and alignments” and also “...seem evident that in the future as at present Canada will remain an America ally”[6] . This essay will analyze these invariants and argue that Sutherland’s assessment almost 50 years ago is still pertinent nowdays. It will prove that the bilateral relationship between Canada and United States is the most important support of the Canadian foreign policy. First, it will be demonstrated that Canada’s geographical position in North America the defence of Canada is the joint with the United States. Then, United States’ and Canada’s economies are so inter-dependent that this relationship is one of the mostimportant pillars on the Canadian foreign policy and trade. Finally, Canada must rely on allies to guarantee its own defence and presence on the world scenario because of its limited capabilities in defence.
Geography
Geography was the first invariant considered in Sutherland’s paper. Canada occupied the North part of North America bordering the Arctic Ocean on the north, the North Atlantic Ocean onthe east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the United States on the south. Canada has the largest border 8,893 Kms in the world with only one country, United States (including the border with Alaska).[7] During the cold war Canada’s geographical position between two superpowers, USSR and USA, gave it a strategic position. This position represented to Canada automatically involved in anynuclear war.[8]Furthermore Unite States is bound to defend Canada, whether Canadians want or do not want it, from a Soviet’s strike.[9] Canada’s and US’ defence and foreign policies, in Sutherland’s time, had one factor in common, to guarantee North America defence.[10]The main requirement of United States was to develop an efficient early warning and interception system against a possible air sovietattack over North Pole or from soviet ballistic submarines”.[11]In this context was created The North American Aerospace Defence Agreement (NORAD) with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. This bi-national organization was the first tool for Canada that allowed it participated together with the United States in the North American defence planning.[12]Thisagreement provided Canada influence in Washington in analyzing and determines policies and priorities in the defence of North America, however Canada “can never, consistent with her own interests, ignore the requirements of American security”, because “the security of the United States is the security of Canada”[13]. NORAD’s mission in Sutherland’s time and today it still is remained the same core...
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