Canada's 2009 Northern Strategy: Cold War Policy in a Warming Arctic
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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From its founding Canada has been an Arctic nation, and has both claimed sovereignty over much of the region and viewed itself as an Arctic power. Despite this, the twentieth century has witnessed minimal development and resource allocation to this region, and Canada has failed to complete the job of nation building north. The peculiar circumstances of the Cold War have had a profound effect on shaping Canadian perceptions of the North, and for fifty years allowed Canada to largely neglect the area with little consequence. In 2009, the Canadian government issued a new Northern Strategy intended to provide a coherent vision and guidance to refocus attention north, and promote the region as a stable and prosperous region responsive to Canadian interests and values. Although circumstances have changed with the end of the Cold War and greater accessibility to and competition for Arctic resources, Canadas Northern Strategy remains one more appropriate to the context of the Cold War than the current milieu. While talking of the new Arctic environment, Canadian policy continues to think of it in Cold War terms. As a result, Canadas conception of the challenges faced in extending development and governance in the Arctic and the strategies to overcome these challenges are in some cases no longer relevant. Through an analysis of Canadas Cold War Arctic strategy and policy, this monograph identifies the historical drivers of Canadas Northern strategy and summarizes trends in the associated Canadian policy goals and objectives. The monograph also examines the factors which discouraged Canada from extending State power North during the Cold War, using the framework developed by Jeffrey Herbst to explain why African states often fail to consolidate their state power.
- Government and Political Science