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The Illusion of Independence: Reponse

The Illusion of Independence: Reponse

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Published by Sean Joudry
A response to an article written in Bow and Lennox's 'An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada?'
A response to an article written in Bow and Lennox's 'An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada?'

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Published by: Sean Joudry on Feb 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Illusion of Independence Joudry1
Sean M. JoudryDr. Reginald StuartCanadian Foreign Policy POLS 2219December 6, 2009
The Illusion of Independence” by Patrick Lennox
Article Review
Is Canadian foreign policy truly independent of the United States? This is what Patrick Lennox asks
in his article, “The Illusion of Independence”. Throughout his paper headdresses the United States‟ power over C
anada, and details how Canada has a history of  backroom dealings with the United States which, despite appearing independent at times,is not necessarily the case.
Lennox discusses the views of political scientists in the 1960‟s and
their suggestions on what Canadian foreign policy with Washington should be. CharlesHanely proposed that Canada become completely independent of the United States,
making foreign policy decision in the best interests of the nation, and “the interests and
aspirations‟ of the other peoples who would be affected by Canada‟s foreign policies” (p.
44). This would have required Canadians to choose a neutral position in the Cold War,which Lennox discredits because of the damaging effects it would have had on
relations with the United States. Not only that, but Canada would have been, according toLennox, left out of any major international decisions.
The Illusion of Independence Joudry2
Lennox argues that due to
Canada‟s relationsh
ip with the United States, Canadianadministrations are able to drift spending away from national defense, and allocate ittowards social programs such as health care and education. Canada can do this because itis, as Lennox calls it, a
“subordinate state”
, with the United States being a
The power of United States and Canada‟s connection with the country allows
Canada to become
“less of a typical Westphalian warfare state”
(p 48). This is becausethe US secures Canada economically and militarily, according to Lennox, leaving Canadaopen to focus spending on other things. Lennox suggests that is one reason why Canadahas such a vast quantity of social programs compared to the US.This specialization of the subordinate country allows for the superordinate toresolve international matters without becoming directly involved. It also gives thesuperordinate country, the United States, the illusion that it has no involvement, whereasCanada acts
its eye‟s and ears. Lennox defends this with an example of the 2005 Iraqielections and Canada‟s involvement as a mediator. Due to Canada‟s refusal to become
involved in the Iraqi occupation, Canada was able to legitimately perform this role.Lennox goes on to list specialized roles which Canada has taken in its position of a subordinate state. All roles listed are backed up with firm examples as to why theUnited States needed Canada to become involved, instead of doing the task itself. From peace-keeping missions in Vietnam, to gathering intelligence about the Castro regimeduring the Cold War. It becomes apparent to the reader that the tasks which Canadacarried out would not have been possible for the United States.
The Illusion of Independence Joudry3
Despite being not being officially involved in the invasion of Iraq, Canada was
“formally thanked for its efforts”
by a US Air Force lieutenant general in his report for its contribution of thirty-one troops and a contribution of naval ships to the mission.Lennox uses this to defend h
is position that Canada‟s indepe
ndence from the UnitedStates is a mere illusion. Despite publicly being against the war in Iraq, a war which hestates 70% of Canadians were opposed to, Canada did give aide, although minimal, to theUnited States. This was
made “all the more evident by the fact that the decision to send a
significant number of troops to Afghanistan was made almost as soon as it became clear 
that the war against Saddam Hussein‟s regime would commence without UN approval”.
Lennox claims that due to
Canada‟s refusal to participate in the Iraqi invasion, the
government deployed an additional 1500 troops to Afghanistan to make amends with theUS government. This this freed up American troops to go to participate in the Iraq war.
“Saying „yes‟ to
making the move from Kabul to Kandahar was made in an effort to
compensate for saying „no‟ to first Iraq, and then BMD.” (p. 56).
 Patrick Lennox does an effective job at revealing the illusion that Canada is anindependent nation from the United States. It is clear that the decision making process inCanada must always include the US in the equation. The hierarchy that exists in theinternational community cannot be ignored, especially that which exists between Canadaand the United States of America. It would not have the luxury of focusing on socialissues such as health care, as it would need to devote tax dollars to national defense andmilitary spending. Not only that, but Canada would lose its largest trading partner.Lennox succeeds in his article at revealing the illusion of indepedence of Canada.

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