A Letter to Deputy Prime Minister John Manley

Saskatoon - Monday, January 6, 2003 - by: J. Howard Baxter CD, PSAC, Major (retired)
  Hon. John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister




This letter is in reference to your remarks noted both in the Globe And Mail and the National Post. The Globe and Mail (12/12/02) reports that you made derogatory remarks about our retired military officers. That sort of commentary is completely unacceptable by anyone. Those occupying the government benches and especially someone who is a member of the federal cabinet must be held to a higher standard. In as much as you are responsible for the drafting the upcoming budget, the development of a foreign policy white paper and a defence white paper should be your top priorities. It is troubling to hear that you believe the Canadian Forces should redefine their operational role prior to applying for budget coverage and before the foreign policy white paper is completed.




A foreign affairs policy review was promised in the throne speech, which would set out a long term direction for our foreign policy (National Post, 27/12/02). However, we are advised that no such review will take place. While at the same time our Foreign Minister will begin "consulting" instead of drafting the new white paper (National Post, 27/12/02). From this editorial by the National Post we read that Foreign Minister Graham assures us that the new foreign policy when it comes out will follow the same obsolete policy framework as the 1995 version.



of foreign

Truly, as the National Post editors suggest
"Canada is coasting into irrelevance on the world stage".
At this point you should be aware of the maxim taught at the Canadian Forces Staff College to whit military power is an extension of foreign policy. Therefore it is incumbent on the Government to draft the foreign policy white paper before drafting an operational role for the Canadian Forces and to accomplish both prior to the budget speech. The budget should be the last step, not the first in establishing the Canadian Forces operational role




Major J. Howard Baxter (retired)
  Member, Council for Canadian Security in the 21st Century
  The future of foreign policy, Senators offer useful guidance for a post-Chr?tien world, (pdf) December 27, 2002, Ottawa Citizen
  Trickery, Mike, Foreign policy based on U.S. Full blown review not needed, Graham contends, December 26, 2002, Ottawa Citizen
  Ward, John, After a year of triumph and tragedy, the Canadian Forces face uncertainty, (pdf) December 26, 2002, St. Catherines, Standard