The Weekly Dispatch: May 25, 2012

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May 25, 2012

Last week, world leaders met at the NATO Summit in Chicago to finalize withdrawal from Afghanistan. OpenCanada.org took the opportunity to reflect on Canada's relationship with the alliance, and to think about what threats lie beyond Afghanistan. At the top of this list are cyberspace and the environment. We took a close look at both as our Future of Fighting series turned to "New Threats." Next week, we turn the table and examine "New Opportunities" with the Brookings Institution's Peter Singer on drones, and Roundtable blogger Jennifer Welsh on the ethical questions they raise.

This Week on OpenCanada

Environment at War
Climate change causes hurricanes, droughts, and floods. But it also causes violence. The University of California at Irvine’s Richard Matthew on the role Canada can play in navigating the relationship between environmental change and international security.

The Outsourcing of the Cyberwar
Don’t blame China. The greatest cyber threats emerge not from states, but from private actors. The Oxford Internet Institute’s Jon Penney gives some advice to the Canadian government on the changing security environment.

Canada and NATO, NATO and Canada
The main reason for Canada to purchase the F-35 is its involvement in NATO. Is it really worth it? Steve Saideman assesses the relationship.

Taking Up the Canadian-Mexican Agenda
The interests of Canada and Mexico are now indisputably intertwined. Canadians just need to realize it. Jennifer Jeffs on why Canadians should acknowledge Mexico's true position as a strategic ally.

Truth and Reconciliation in Canada
South Sudan, Northern Uganda, and East Timor. Now our Peace v. Justice series turns to Canada, where Kim Stanton looks at the government’s recent cuts to indigenous organizations, and their impact on the reconciliation process.

NATO ± Canada
158 Canadians died in the NATO mission to Afghanistan. In the wake of the Chicago NATO Summit, OpenCanada presents an infographic on Canada’s contributions to the alliance in recent years.

Rapid Response Question of the Week

Should Canada view cyberspace as a threat or an opportunity?
As our Future of Fighting series goes to space, our Rapid Responders weigh in on the star trek threat. Former High Commissioner to London Jeremy Kinsman says the Chinese government should be worried, while former Ambassador to EU Gordon Smith and Kyle Matthews note, threat or opportunity, cyberspace is here to stay.

Weekly Readings from the World Wide Web

“Our Not-So-Friendly Northern Neighbor” by Laurence Bherer and Pascale Dufour in the New York Times
In Quebec, Putin is pronounced “poutine.” Very funny, right? Not so much anymore, write two University of Montreal professors on the provinces assault on democratic rights.

“Egypt Elects its President While in Crisis” by Sherif Younis in Jadaliyya
How has the political crisis in Egypt developed in the past months? How has it been reflected in a general state of intense frustration? Some answers to the major questions behind this week’s elections.

“The Threat of German Amnesia” by Joschka Fischer in Project Syndicate
Germany destroyed itself – and Europe – twice in the twentieth century. Let’s avoid doing this a third time, writes Germany’s former foreign minister

“Unequal Shares” by James Surowecki in The New Yorker
Facebook may have more clout than Canada – and many other countries – when it comes to international outcomes. For this reason, it is important to understand why the newly public company’s governance structure is far from democratic.

“One Scenario for the U.S. and China to Stop Their Brawling” by Steve LeVine in Foreign Policy
We’re running out of oil, right? Wrong. How the oil sands and other oil deposits would help quell the conflict between the world’s two biggest nations.

Reports

Canada and NATO: A Military Assessment
Elinor Sloan assesses NATO’s ability to conduct out-of-area crisis management operations in the latest paper from the Strategic Studies Working Group.

Events

May 29
Online Conversation
New Capabilities
For the past 5,000 years, combat meant putting people at risk. Today, it doesn't have to. The Brookings Institution’s Peter Singer and Oxford’s Jennifer Welsh debate what recent developments in drone technology mean for the way we fight.

May 30
Ottawa
Rising India: Will the Elephant Dance with Canada? Challenges and Opportunities
The National Capital Branch presents David Malone and Peter Sutherland.

May 30
Waterloo
CIC-CIGI Media Panel – Bordered Biases: National Identity in World News Coverage
The Waterloo Region Branch presents a panel with Mitch Potter, Kevin Carmichael, and Tony Burman, moderated by Steve Paikin.