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US vs Canada

jmt18325

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Thucydides said:
Canada has been a very weak partner for decades. As one politician said, we are like that guy who eats the meal at the restaurant, but goes to the washroom when it is time for the cheque to be paid.

Really?  Most of Canada's military expeditionary budget has been spent in support of US initiatives, often with little benefit to us.  We're like the people that help pay for the meal that we didn't even eat any of.
 

YZT580

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jmt18325 said:
Really?  Most of Canada's military expeditionary budget has been spent in support of US initiatives, often with little benefit to us.  We're like the people that help pay for the meal that we didn't even eat any of.
  Perhaps that is because the U.S. still has a conscience (of sorts).  Everyone else just seems to wring their hands and send get well soon tweets.  The 90's were full of stories re: Afghanistan and how the women were being pushed down and how the boys were whipped for flying kites.  Football didn't exist and most children never saw the inside of a classroom unless it was a Taliban sponsored Madrassa.  Europe was too busy trying to make sales and pretending that it was purely an internal matter.  Now I won't pretend that the Americans motives are pure but I don't see much gain for them either from the conflicts that they have entered: just debt and lives spent.  It will be up to history to decide whether it was justified or not but there was enough 'right' that even our politicians signed on.  Australia seems to understand since they voluntarily have joined almost every time.  Just saying
 

PuckChaser

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jmt18325 said:
So lets say you're right - lets say that the US has paid for a portion of our defence (I dispute that, but we'll let that stand for now).  What then, does that have to do for NAFTA, an agreement that has given them a trade surplus over us, and has contributed to massive economic growth for them?

Defense spending has as much to do with a trade deal as virtue signalling on climate change, GBA+ and imposing our concept of indigenous rights on a sovereign nation via NAFTA.
 

Xylric

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YZT580 said:
You are absolutely correct.  There has been no immediate danger.  So of what use is the military?  As a civilian, here is how I see it.  The military is a nations insurance policy.  Just like having a lock on your door serves absolutely no purpose but to cause one to fumble with the groceries in one hand while looking for first the key and then the hole until the day someone tries to break in.  Up until that moment your 49.95 yale was a complete waste of money.

Consider Switzerland.  They haven't fought a war in several hundred years yet they continue to invest in their armed forces.  Insurance.  That is reason one.  Reason two is respect.  No one is paying any attention to Trudeau.  At the international level he has been justifiably rejected as weak.  The Swiss provided an escort of respect to Harper when he flew in several years ago.  That won't ever happen to Trudeau(lite).  His father discovered that without our squadrons in Lahr and Baden, no one was interested in listening to him at all (with the possible exception of Fidel). 

Used properly by industry, the military provides an excellent training ground for future civilian leaders.  It provides careers for lesser types too even if they look elsewhere after 10 years.  Many of those who muster out and then make a go of it would never have done so without the confidence building that their time in service provided. 

those are just of few of the benefits of a military and by not pulling our weight in NATO and NORAD and yes, the UN as well, but letting others pay for our defence we are failing to appreciate even those benefits that I have listed above. 

While Canada doesn't have a federal Ministry of Education (as I think it should), it occurs to me that a provincial Minister of Education that has served in the military opens up a number of promising options...
 

Blackadder1916

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YZT580 said:
  Perhaps that is because the U.S. still has a conscience (of sorts).  Everyone else just seems to wring their hands and send get well soon tweets.  The 90's were full of stories re: Afghanistan and how the women were being pushed down and how the boys were whipped for flying kites.  Football didn't exist and most children never saw the inside of a classroom unless it was a Taliban sponsored Madrassa.  Europe was too busy trying to make sales and pretending that it was purely an internal matter.  Now I won't pretend that the Americans motives are pure but I don't see much gain for them either from the conflicts that they have entered: just debt and lives spent.  It will be up to history to decide whether it was justified or not but there was enough 'right' that even our politicians signed on.  Australia seems to understand since they voluntarily have joined almost every time.  Just saying

I'm a little confused by your suggestion that the US went to Afghanistan due to their feelings of "conscience" about the treatment of the population.  If I remember correctly about the events that led to a coalition invasion of AFG, there was a little thing called "9-11".  Somehow, I don't think the plight of Afghan women and children was much on the minds of US leadership.  They probably didn't like it, but they weren't about to invest lives and treasure to do anything about it.  However, when an organization led and inspired by a bearded, Saudi shitbird attacked their country, then the main emotion is anger and revenge.  Woe betide the shitbird, woe betide his organization and woe betide the country that harboured them.  That's why the US went to Afghanistan, that's why other NATO members (and other like-minded countries) went in support of their alliance partner and because it hasn't reached a state where they feel comfortable leaving Afghanistan to its own devices again, that's why they are still there.
 

YZT580

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Blackadder, you are correct regarding Afghanistan and the US motives.  But the point I was trying to make was that with all the stories and news reports, no one cared.  All it was was an item on the 6 o'clock news. It took 9-11 before there was any intersession.  The same story can be repeated for a dozen or more places around the world.  Now for some reason the Americans feel an obligation to intervene in some, not all, of these disputes.  Often, there is no apparent benefit in doing so except that it somehow strikes their leadership as being the right thing to do.  Now even as I wrote that it sounds rather naive but somehow the Americans strike me as being more than a little naive.  Consider the people who made news when the current leaders were growing up.  Roy Rogers, Gunsmoke, Rawhide on television and dozens more all featured people in white hats.  Heck, they still show re-runs of Andy Griffith and Gomer Pyle.  Maybe we look too deeply for motivation but instead should look at their choice in headwear.  Regardless, the Americans have a habit of intervening and when they do they ask their neighbours and friends for support.  For those that respond there is no real benefit financially.  In fact, it may use up a good portion of the expeditionary budget.  But such collaboration buys a wealth of good will and when you are dealing with the big kid on the block, good will is good.  p****ng him off is not.  Perhaps I am expressing myself poorly but I think it boils down to the Americans expect their friends to help them.  Criticise in private and support publicly. 
 

Halifax Tar

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YZT580 said:
Blackadder, you are correct regarding Afghanistan and the US motives.  But the point I was trying to make was that with all the stories and news reports, no one cared.  All it was was an item on the 6 o'clock news. It took 9-11 before there was any intersession.  The same story can be repeated for a dozen or more places around the world.  Now for some reason the Americans feel an obligation to intervene in some, not all, of these disputes.  Often, there is no apparent benefit in doing so except that it somehow strikes their leadership as being the right thing to do.  Now even as I wrote that it sounds rather naive but somehow the Americans strike me as being more than a little naive.  Consider the people who made news when the current leaders were growing up.  Roy Rogers, Gunsmoke, Rawhide on television and dozens more all featured people in white hats.  Heck, they still show re-runs of Andy Griffith and Gomer Pyle.  Maybe we look too deeply for motivation but instead should look at their choice in headwear.  Regardless, the Americans have a habit of intervening and when they do they ask their neighbours and friends for support.  For those that respond there is no real benefit financially.  In fact, it may use up a good portion of the expeditionary budget.  But such collaboration buys a wealth of good will and when you are dealing with the big kid on the block, good will is good.  p****ng him off is not.  Perhaps I am expressing myself poorly but I think it boils down to the Americans expect their friends to help them.  Criticise in private and support publicly.

Lets also not forget there is a very vocal segment of western society screams that the USA and the west as whole needs to do more to help the poor and unjustly persecuted around the world, while a breath later will crap all over the USA, mostly, and the west for assuming the world police role.  Which is it ?  Do we want their help ?  Or do we just need a convenient fall guy for when our feel good, sunny ways go awry ?

If I am POTUS I reel everything in.  Close all my European, African and ME bases; and concentrate on continental defence, with a minor in Asian trading lanes, just to keep the lanes flowing. I would use the 3 oceans as my walls and fortifications, with the USN/USCG on guard.  I would also very tightly control immigration and use targeted demographics and professions for who I would allow in.  Let the rest of the world sort themselves out, its time they were left to their own devices anyways.

Canada, in my POTUS world, would have the opportunity to become partners in this continental redoubt.  If we, Canada, chose to decline or dither too long, as we normally do, I'd use the great white north as a land mass buffer.  Trade as necessary, exploit when I can, and ignore most of the time.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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This thread is a partisan political toilet bowl and quite honestly, I get about as much out of reading it as I do watching CBC, CNN or FOX.

I guess in a way, its pretty reflective of the present political climate in the world atm, where everything is a red line, leaders of the free world become friends with magelomaniac dictators, communist cow milk becomes the hill you die on, etc.

I think Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are both terrible leaders, not because they are idiots (they are both clearly very intelligent and astute because they've convinced a lot of people to vote for them) but because outside of tweets and selfies, they have both accomplished absolutely nothing since coming to power. 

The problem though isn't them, it's us.  We elect these people to power, we allow the Government to get a pass for getting absolutely nothing accomplished. 

Right now our government has clearly shown it can't build infrastructure, it has no energy strategy, it can't implement environmental policy, it can't provide the country with a robust military with full-spectrum combat capability, so what exactly can it do?

I don't think for a second that the Conservatives could deliver any better either.  There are no real leaders or statesmen in politics anymore, just spin doctors and people concerned with self-enrichment and aggrandizement.
 

QV

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I generally agree with your post, however Trump and Trudeau have both accomplished a few of their aims.  The economy and the Supreme Court for example for Trump.  And Trudeau prevented the major pipelines from going east or west.  I guess it matters where you stand on those issues and how you feel about each leader to decide whether those are accomplishments or bungles. 
 

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QV said:
I generally agree with your post, however Trump and Trudeau have both accomplished a few of their aims.  The economy and the Supreme Court for example for Trump.  And Trudeau prevented the major pipelines from going east or west.  I guess it matters where you stand on those issues and how you feel about each leader to decide whether those are accomplishments or bungles.

Trudeau doesn't appear to have a stance on anything, which is why I can't stand him.  Does he want the pipeline built or not?  The only thing he has accomplished is allowed Kinder-Morgan to write off a significant portion of their debt and I'm certain Kinder-Morgan is thrilled to get rid of a pipeline that is probably never going to be built anyways.

Americans must have wanted their political scene to give off the appearance of a WWE Royal Rumble because that's what they've got right now.  Nothing is going to get done though, the whole thing is kabuki theatre. 


 

QV

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I won't argue with the apparent ineptness of Trudeau.  Though I believe he does not want pipelines despite some of what he has said.  I am looking at the actions and disregarding the words to formulate that opinion.  Bills like C69 just give the government the ability to stonewall major projects for political and social purposes, allowing them to bypass the national interest.

Have you watched the Kavanagh hearing at all?  If that doesn't turn a huge amount of regular Americans off of the democrats I don't know what will.   
 

Brad Sallows

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>Nothing is going to get done though, the whole thing is kabuki theatre.

Some things get done.  Apparently they are resorting to customary practices for passing appropriations, for the first time in 20 (or so) years.
 

Ashkan08

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Doesn't seem like we'll be getting a NAFTA ( or a bilateral trade ) deal soon. We obviously won't accept a deal without chapter 19 ( and we shouldn't ) and it seems like Trump won't accept a deal with chapter 19.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/chapter-19-trudeau-trump-rules-1.4811539
 

tomahawk6

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Halifax Tar said:
Lets also not forget there is a very vocal segment of western society screams that the USA and the west as whole needs to do more to help the poor and unjustly persecuted around the world, while a breath later will crap all over the USA, mostly, and the west for assuming the world police role.  Which is it ?  Do we want their help ?  Or do we just need a convenient fall guy for when our feel good, sunny ways go awry ?

If I am POTUS I reel everything in.  Close all my European, African and ME bases; and concentrate on continental defence, with a minor in Asian trading lanes, just to keep the lanes flowing. I would use the 3 oceans as my walls and fortifications, with the USN/USCG on guard.  I would also very tightly control immigration and use targeted demographics and professions for who I would allow in.  Let the rest of the world sort themselves out, its time they were left to their own devices anyways.

This has been tried by Woodrow Wilson and then FDR.The result was exactly what they tried to avoid- World War.

Canada, in my POTUS world, would have the opportunity to become partners in this continental redoubt.  If we, Canada, chose to decline or dither too long, as we normally do, I'd use the great white north as a land mass buffer.  Trade as necessary, exploit when I can, and ignore most of the time.
 

Edward Campbell

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Halifax Tar said:
...

If I am POTUS I reel everything in.  Close all my European, African and ME bases; and concentrate on continental defence, with a minor in Asian trading lanes, just to keep the lanes flowing. I would use the 3 oceans as my walls and fortifications, with the USN/USCG on guard.  I would also very tightly control immigration and use targeted demographics and professions for who I would allow in.  Let the rest of the world sort themselves out, its time they were left to their own devices anyways.

...  Trade as necessary, exploit when I can, and ignore most of the time.


Given that something approaching 90% of the global economy moves by sea, on over 100,000 merchant ships, I would argue that your strategy is back-asswards. The only useful thing a global superpower does, it seems, to me, is to secure the sea-lines of communication ... and it does that 100% for its own benefit.

For the rest, you support your friends who are, in almost every case during, say, the last 500 years (the 'age of exploration' fundamentally altered global economics), your main trading partners ... once again there's no altruism involved, it's pure self-interest.

You seem to me to be rather like President Trump: a mercantilist, not a strategist, as Yadong Liu says in a very useful article in Foreign Affairs in which he suggests that President Trump is, still, despite the trade war and tariffs, China's long-term saviour because of his own personal traits which include a lack of strategic vision and a penchant for satisfying his own, personal desires and interests.
 

Halifax Tar

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E.R. Campbell said:
Given that something approaching 90% of the global economy moves by sea, on over 100,000 merchant ships, I would argue that your strategy is back-asswards. The only useful thing a global superpower does, it seems, to me, is to secure the sea-lines of communication ... and it does that 100% for its own benefit.

For the rest, you support your friends who are, in almost every case during, say, the last 500 years (the 'age of exploration' fundamentally altered global economics), your main trading partners ... once again there's no altruism involved, it's pure self-interest.

You seem to me to be rather like President Trump: a mercantilist, not a strategist, as Yadong Liu says in a very useful article in Foreign Affairs in which he suggests that President Trump is, still, despite the trade war and tariffs, China's long-term saviour because of his own personal traits which include a lack of strategic vision and a penchant for satisfying his own, personal desires and interests.

ERC I don't know if you missed it but I did say leave the shipping lanes with Asia open.  Having said that; and dealing with the remainder of my post, how long can we (the rest of the world) criticize the US and slam them at every turn and still expect them to carry the lions share of the Wests defence and response to humanitarian crises that arise ?  When will the US say enough is enough you are on your own ?

As for my quote regarding Canada "Trade as necessary, exploit when I can, and ignore most of the time" we have been protected by our proximity to the USA for so long, this has allowed us to minimally fund our defence while establishing an almost unsustainable welfare state and also gained a most advantageous trading position with the worlds largest economy.  How long can we expect this to carry on ?

I dont like any of these ideas, but I cannot blame a US leader for doing any of this.  We have been a very ungrateful world, have the made mistakes, no doubt about it.  But when push comes to shove they have always been there in great numbers and with a huge capacity of projection of their logistics. 

I dunno, to me we (the rest of the world) can only kick them for so long before they take their toys and go home.
 

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Halifax Tar said:
ERC I don't know if you missed it but I did say leave the shipping lanes with Asia open.  Having said that; and dealing with the remainder of my post, how long can we (the rest of the world) criticize the US and slam them at every turn and still expect them to carry the lions share of the Wests defence and response to humanitarian crises that arise ?  When will the US say enough is enough you are on your own ?

As for my quote regarding Canada "Trade as necessary, exploit when I can, and ignore most of the time" we have been protected by our proximity to the USA for so long, this has allowed us to minimally fund our defence while establishing an almost unsustainable welfare state and also gained a most advantageous trading position with the worlds largest economy.  How long can we expect this to carry on ?

I dont like any of these ideas, but I cannot blame a US leader for doing any of this.  We have been a very ungrateful world, have the made mistakes, no doubt about it.  But when push comes to shove they have always been there in great numbers and with a huge capacity of projection of their logistics. 

I dunno, to me we (the rest of the world) can only kick them for so long before they take their toys and go home.


I cherry picked the parts of your post in order to make my own point which is that grand strategy is about self interest ...  so to the extent that e.g. President Trump is acting in the USA's self interest then he's doing the right thing ... But (and there's always a 'but' with me, isn't there?) I do not believe that President Trump has much knowledge of or any real interest in America's interests; in fact I agree with Yadong Liu when he says that the Chinese believe that they can play Trump, including actually bribing him because they believe that he puts his own, personal and family, interests ahead of his country's. I don't know to what (if any) extent that is true and I don't much care but my own reading of history, especially of European history in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries says that mercantilism, which is what I think Trump does believe in, is a deeply, even fatally flawed doctrine ~ just ask the Spanish and the French.
 
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