17 May 2007

As promised earlier today, my letter to Peter Mackay. It'll be in the mailbox in a couple hours. Thoughts?

I am writing you regarding Canada’s participation in the Global War on Terror, specifically Canada’s policy to extend the sphere of democratic influence, as defined in the 2005 International Policy Statement. This will no doubt be a multilateral effort, which brings into question existing international institutions and their relevance and necessity in achieving key benchmarks and reaching priority objectives in this generational conflict to integrate disconnected regions into the function core of the globalization movement. We have achieved much to this point, but our efforts are restricted by our reliance upon the institutions of the last major global conflict, that being the Cold War.
To be blunt, I find it incredibly disappointing that there has not been an international government-level effort to spearhead the establishment of new institutions that are capable of mitigating the threat posed by terrorist organizations and the non-democratic regimes that often give them shelter to plan attacks against Canada and its allies. The United Nations has no mandate to promote democracy; indeed, its founding Charter is based on the equal sovereignty of all states, thereby preventing external efforts to promote “regime change” through peaceful and diplomatic means. The cover of sovereignty protects regimes that practice human rights abuses, deny their citizens economic and political freedoms, and prevent the establishment of the rule of law. Yet, over five years after 9/11, and more than four years after the removal of Saddam Hussein by a United States-led multilateral coalition, there has not been any movement on the part of governments to form new multilateral institutions with a mandate to meet one of the defining challenges of the 21st century: to extend the umbrella of democracy to people in territories that have had it denied from them by self-interested and self-serving dictators. There have been a number of calls from the academic community for such an organization, be it Francis Fukuyama’s call for a strengthened Community of Democracies, or the suggestion I posited in my Dalhousie graduate thesis to create a Global Alliance of Liberal Democracies, but this has not translated into action.
This type of organization would assist in developing new rule sets and norms for the emerging global security milieu, and I believe that Canada can play a significant role in its creation and maintenance. Through its participation in the reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan, Canada has acquired significant experience in what Thomas Barnett, in his book The Pentagon’s New Map: Blueprint for Action – A Future Worth Creating, refers to as system administration. This emerging concept represents the evolution of the idea of “nation building” and takes it to the next level, which can be called “state building.” The Canadian Forces and Canadian diplomats have done tremendous work developing a state in Afghanistan, building the institutions of civil society, creating a police force that can maintain Afghanistan’s internal security and protect its population, and creating opportunities for women to assist in the development of that country. This new multilateral organization would utilize the collective experience of Canada and its ISAF partners to develop blueprints and strategies for future efforts to integrate other states that will cast off the shackles of tyranny, so that they may develop peacefully and coordinate with other participants in the globalization movement.
I should like to hear your thoughts on this matter, and I ask you whether Canada will take on a leadership role in bringing about such an ambitious—yet deeply necessarily—project to truly meet the need for post-conflict reconstruction efforts. Our work in Afghanistan has been admirable, yet it has also made clear the need for a coherent blueprint that can be followed to a desired end state. We have the experience of Afghanistan to rely upon for a list of “do’s and don’ts,” and formalizing this type of strategy will be of invaluable assistance to Canada and its allies in the future. I eagerly await your response, and would certainly like to discuss the matter further in future correspondence.

2 comments:

Grad School is Over said...

It sounds like the cover letter for a job application. Attach your resume.

RGM said...

I should be so lucky. :)