Russia and China have both stated that terrorism is the major threat to world security (see “Russia urges Canada keep NATO soldiers out of Latvia“). This author begs to differ – it is the rise of near totalitarian regimes that are the existential problem for the West. Russia’s ongoing aggressive attacks in the Ukraine and Syria coupled with China’s often bizarre territorial demands of its neighbours are more problematic than anything ISIS or such ilk can ever do.
Russia and China have made extensive efforts to separate the West into smaller parts and eliminating opposition to Russian and Chinese offensive operations. These operations continue to be “operations other than war” in the form of disinformation, economic and propaganda operations. It can be accompanied by actual military operations such as China’s move to place weapons on rocks in the South China Seas, or their use of their civilian fishing fleet or coast guard to force out aggressively the fishing vessels of other nations in ‘disputed’ waters. The election of Donald Trump is widely seen around the world as less than reliable at a time when stability and reliability within the free world are necessary to oppose these two aggressive regimes.
This article is an excellent example of Russian disinformation. There is nothing to be gained by Canada by even considering this Russian ‘offer.’ There is, however, a great deal to lose by not supporting our allies in Europe and failing to counter Russian actions in Ukraine and in the Baltic area. Sweden is so concerned with Russian actions that it is re-imposing conscription for its armed forces.
In the case of China, it is involved in more than thirty territorial disputes, not to mention an ongoing insurgency in East Turkmenistan, a country that China invaded, and issues in Tibet, invaded by Communist Chinese forces in 1954. India is also increasing its forces and capabilities to match Chinese aggressiveness, and has recently started the work ups of its first indigenously produced nuclear ballistic missile submarine. Other countries in the area in and near South East Asia, such as Viet Nam, Singapore, and Australia, are also upgrading their militaries to provide for deterrence against aggressive Chinese actions.
The real problem are these aggressive regimes. Canada should be taking a stronger stance towards Russian aggression. The Government should pass Magnitsky-style legislation as already passed in the US. We should continue to support our allies and station Canadian soldiers in Europe. Russia should not be rewarded for its actions. We should be steadfast with our allies.