The Weekly Dispatch: May 4, 2012

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May 4, 2012

This week, OpenCanada.org launched our biggest series yet, The Future of Fighting: How the Canadian Military Must Adapt. The opening chapter of the seven-part series examined how the Afghanistan experience changed Canada's outlook on the world, with Roland Paris insisting that Canadian foreign policy is about more than just contributing troops, and Steve Saideman taking a close look at Canada's international priorities. Also, this week, a peak at some of the best documentaries on international issues, and Weekly Readings that go indepth into the week's big international events, including the Chen Guangchang diplomatic disaster and the rise of François Hollande.

This Week on OpenCanada

A Post-Afghanistan Military
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the F-35. In the first week of our Future of Fighting series, we step back for a moment. Roland Paris and Steve Saideman examine the threats Canada will face in the longterm – and how we should prepare.

OpenCanada at HotDocs
Kim Jong-il liked movies. But there’s a lot more to the connection between geopolitics and film. Anouk Dey interviews the documentarians behind some of this year’s best documentaries on international issues.

Two Priorities for the Canadian Forces
Say good-bye to Uncle Sam. The greatest challenge Canada faces is the transition from a U.S.-led international system to a multipolar one, writes Roland Paris. Fortunately, institutional reform is something Canada is good at.

Towards a Grand Strategy for Canada
We may squabble with Denmark every once in a while, but the real threat to Canada in the Arctic is Russia. Steve Saideman shares some advice on how to counter Putin & Co.

Aid Through Education
Primary education is like hockey: Canada is really good at it. For this reason, Jennifer Jeffs thinks that promoting primary education should be at the centre of CIDA’s agenda.

Rapid Response Question of the Week

What is the biggest lesson Canada can take from its experience in Afghanistan?
Philippe Lagassé from the University of Ottawa says that we learned that amibition alone can't sustain a military mission. Journalist Don Newman says the Afghan mission proved that fools rush in where wise men fear to read. And Mark Sedra, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, thinks the lesson was the importance of assigning clear and realistic objectives that reflect the local realities.

Research

An Open Call for Research and Commentary
The CIC invites individuals and institutions to contribute their research and commentary to our Natural Resources and Foreign Policy Project. We welcome submissions of reports, papers and essays that respond to the project’s fundamental question: How can Canadians be smart about developing our abundant energy, mineral and forest resources?

Weekly Readings from the World Wide Web

“How the Obama Administration’s Narrative About Chen Guangcheng Unraveled, One Tweet at a Time” by Emily Parker in The New Republic
Has Twitter fundamentally changed geopolitics? Tracing the past week in China-US relations, Emily Parker makes a clear case that it has.

“The Spy Who Came in From the Code” by Matthieu Aikins in The Columbia Journalism Review
When we think of hackers, we think of Anonymous. But authoritarian regimes employ hackers too. On World Press Freedom Day, Canadian journalist Matthieu Aikins reminds journalists of the cautions they must take.

“Harper Needs Fresh Faces in International Portfolios” by Campbell Clark in The Globe and Mail
It’s not because a military helicopter picked Peter MacKay up from vacation or because Bev Oda likes expensive OJ. Campbell Clark explains why Canada needs some new international faces.

“Hollande is Half the Story” by Martin A. Schain in Foreign Affairs
Bonjour, populism! Hollande is getting all the headlines, but Martin Schain says that the real story is about the resurgence of populism in France - and it doesn’t have a happy ending.

“These are the Countries that will Win and Lose in the New Global Paradigm” by Ian Bremmer in Business Insider
First, Ian Bremmer predicted the end of the free market. Now he predicts a G0 world. This may be bad news for the G8 but, for Canada, it’s not quite a zero-sum game.

Events

May 8
Your Navy at Home and Abroad
The Montreal Branch is pleased to invite you to a timely and intimate discussion with Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

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