Weighing the Options: Case Studies in Naval Interoperability and Canadian Sovereignty
Maritime Security Occasional Paper No. 13
In the wake of the recent American-led campaign in Iraq, old questions about Canada’s military relationship with the United States have taken on a new relevance, or to be more accurate, a new visibility. Now, as security questions once again dominate foreign policy debates in North America, there is a renewed focus on the age-old dilemma of Canada-U.S. defence relations: how to satisfy American security concerns while retaining an independent voice in world affairs. Weighing the Options: Case Studies in Naval Interoperability and Canadian Sovereignty addresses this sensitive issue through the maritime perspective in a rigorously empirical style, challenging critics on what has come to accepted as conventional wisdom.
Focussing on recent events, particularly the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and the ensuing reorganization of the American defence establishment, Weighing the Options: Case Studies in Naval Interoperability and Canadian Sovereignty draws attention to the newest entry in the North American security lexicon: interoperability. Largely because of its ambiguous meaning and ill-defined connection to larger questions of military integration and defence policy, the Canadian Force’s pursuit of interoperability with the U.S. military has consistently come under fire as yet another threat to the touchstone of Canadian sovereignty. Challenging the emotionalised and rhetorical assertions made by critics and political pundits alike, Williams addresses each the charges against interoperability empirically, and persuasively shows them to have very little foundation in fact. This study provides much needed objectivity on this most important issue, and through the use of detailed case studies in maritime operations, demonstrates that engagement and interoperability represent a Canadian strength.
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