Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 26 April 2007

A new direction on foreign policy thinking

by Matt Bondy, the Guelph Mercury

Is it time for Canada and her principle allies to seriously re-think their security and defence arrangements? Is it possible that Canada’s dogmatic discipleship of the UN has rendered too little progress in an increasingly multi-polar world? Is it obvious that the UN, at least as it relates to security, has proved itself incapable of stopping genocides, strengthening democracy abroad and discouraging the pursuit of nuclear arms and aggressive ideologies by rogue states? Is there any reasonable alternative to the status quo? One hopes – and perhaps not in vain.

Support for the Anglosphere is on the rise among centrist and right-leaning political thinkers and commentators across the US and abroad. At its basic level, the idea of the Anglosphere boils down to this: a significant re-think of Canadian foreign policy – and the foreign policies of our four major allies including the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – is long overdue, given the ascendancy of anti Western forces in virtually every hemisphere, and the robust relationships being forged between them. Canada, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand ought to form a deep political alliance, based on shared security priorities and free trade.

After all, not since the Cold War has the supremacy of liberal democratic states, anchored in the North Atlantic, been so vulnerable to challenge by totalitarian states abroad. The promise of American hegemony has expired, and threats are crystalising in every region of the globe. For example?

China continues its massive economic awakening, which has also spurred an arms build-up. The country recently announced it will increase annual defence spending by a substantial 12.6% in 2007. This is a communist country. Enough said.

Under former KGB head Vladimir Putin, Russia has recently taken many regressive steps. These include major arms sales to Iran, curbing domestic civil and political liberties and taking verbal shots at the United States about America’s proposed missile defence and interceptor fortifications in Eastern Europe. To boot, Putin has managed to secure and expand the influence of fellow Soviet hardliners in his administration and in neighbouring Chechnya.

And Iran. As a result of the capture and release of the 15 Royal Navy personnel some weeks ago, Iran has lurched toward expanded regional spokesmanship, giving neighbouring Iraq and other Arab nations a taste of what an Iranian-centric Middle East would feel like. If Russia’s diplomatic courtship of the Islamic Republic continues, Iranian primacy in the region could become a reality.

But the Anglosphere is not only a response to storms that may be forming on the horizon; it also calls on Canada and her chief allies to maximise on the compatibility of their political and economic cultures. This family of liberal democracies, built on the values of individual rights, economic liberty, common law and a strong civil society, may have much to gain from featuring shared interests more prominently in both their domestic policies and security arrangements. The increasingly free flow of goods, investment, services, people, ideas, research and information technology could deeply entrench the Anglosphere as the global hub of industrial progress.

Whether the Anglosphere is the right answer to external challenges and the right catalyst for internal growth and prosperity depends on many factors, but the Anglosphere holds its water as a broad policy-orientation. After all, the economies of these countries are strong and already interlinked, their militaries are deeply interoperable and their values and interests are similarly aligned - if only because the interests of liberal democracies are always rooted in the preservation and expansion of political and economic liberty. This all we have in common.

The viability of the Anglosphere as a security and economic alliance centres on three questions: is Great Britain prepared to decisively abandon the dream of a European federal state? Is Oceania prepared to shift its tack from regional integration to a broadly North Atlantic-oriented foreign policy? And is Canada ready to shirk off the peace-keeping, UN-defending mentality that, paired with its neglect of the armed forces, has facilitated its tragic decline in international relevance? Only if ‘Yes’ is the answer to these questions, can a genuinely global Anglosphere be realised.

For the three bedrock nations of Canada, the UK and the US, moving forward with a deeper alliance would require only a shift in emphasis – not a complete policy overhaul. Signs of embryonic Anglospherism have already emerged between the UK and the US as these countries put shared interests above Euro-centric opposition to the Iraq War. Had Canada chosen to support the war in Iraq more overtly (instead of quietly increasing troop levels in Afghanistan to free up allied resources for Iraq), perhaps the concept would have achieved critical mass even before time of writing – but nevermind. Recent shifts in Canadian foreign policy may be enough to signal our interest in closer ties with Anglosphere nations, notwithstanding our opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

* * *

Now, the qualifier. Canada should tirelessly promote comprehensive UN reform – specifically Security Council reform. It is unequivocally in Canada’s long term interest for the global community of nations to move toward a rules-based system of politics and conflict, featuring a United Nations that wisely and decisively acts to reduce violence and facilitate political stability. That is the asterisk that looms large over ideas like the ones presented in this column. But that the UN is presently incapable of achieving these venerable goals is an existential reality.

There is no need to abandon the dream of an efficient, fair and viable United Nations. But until that time comes – and in case it never does – Canada needs international security and economic arrangements that advance her interests and protect her citizens. Enter the Anglosphere.

Reprinted here with the express permission of the author

8 comments:

Beaverbrook said...

What would we do without world-wide England, eh? For fifty years we've suffered under the stultifying, accomplish nothing peace-at-all-costs multinational, multilateral and multicultural approach to foreign affairs. We need new thinking, as Matt alludes to. I'm all for a reformed unipolar and unicultural, even uniregal (one can always dream) foreign policy approach, where we stay loyal to our values and long-term interests. The Anglosphere would appear a good approximation, but that doesn't mean we close our eyes to the Dutch, the Poles, the Danes and anyone who wants to work with us. The Anglosphere if necessary, but not necessarily the Anglosphere.

By the way, could you get any more royalist than Guelph?

Matt Bondy said...

Not by much. It is, after all, the Royal City!

I agree that we needn't exclude other states from establishing equity in such an alliance. That would be self-defeating and self-limiting.

Saw your petition over at the MLC message board. She'll pick up steam in no time.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as an American with an eye on history, I must say that something like an Anglosphere against the rest of the world--if I read "Palmerstons" post correctly--has already been tried and found disastrous. If the idiot Wilson hadn't gotten America into WW I, the Allies and the Central Powers would have had to reach a negotiated settlement, with monarchy surviving all around, rather than just the British one in its present attenuated form (not taking into account the Scandinavian monarchies and the tiny ones round about Europe, which don't count). There would have been no Soviet Union, no Nazi Germany, and above all blessings, no WW II. As it was, WW I was the suicide of the West, with all subsequent history being an extended death rattle. And the last thing we need is the idea stumbling around like a zombie that the current wars in Mesopotamia and central Asia could have been redeemed with sufficient resolve on the part of the English-speaking peoples.

Finally, the development of various polarities on the globe should help assure relative peace. Any attempt by any country for global hegemony or a combination of a few against all will only lead to the extinction of our liberties as our governments pursue empire abroad, as is already happening.

Not wishing to accept the category of "Anonymous",I sign as I usually do in posting comments.

daninardmore

Matt Bondy said...

Daninardmore,

Thoughtful analysis. Is there anywhere on the web I can go to read some more of your writing?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bondy: I appreciate the compliment and apologize for not getting back here sooner. Frankly, I didn't expect anyone to pay any attention to the rant of a "Yank" on a site devoted to the British monarchy. Anyway, I don't have a blog, much less a website of my own, but I can heartily recommend the following: http://chroniclesmagazine.org/. This site is devoted to what in the US are called Paleoconservative ideas, and takes a global view of the crisis the West faces, rather than just discussing domestic affairs.
daninardmore

J.K. Baltzersen said...

"daninardmore" has received an award for his initial comment at my blog.

Aeneas the Younger said...

The best Angloshpere is The Commonwealth.

The death of out traditional Canada has been "America."

We belong with The Commonwealth and the European Union.

That is the best and most logical fit for this Dominion.

BaronVonServers said...

With the Commonwealth, but ditch the EU.

Restore the Sovereignty of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom without Brussels.

Leave the rebellious 'nation building by warfare' Americans out. (Can't blame them for thinking nations can be built on Blood and the violent overthrow of the existing regime, theirs WAS!. It is an example they wish to repeat far to often.

Unite the constitutional Monarchies perhaps in a league of common interests, but the US doesn't belong in the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth should be wary of any close relationship with it.