Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Canada-US relations

Canada is a direct neighbour and the largest trading partner of the United States. Its military is not large enough to be of importance as a factor in the pending war against Iraq. However, the international role of Canada as a peace keeping nation and its good reputation are making it an important potential ally of the U.S.

The majority of the Canadian people is opposed to the war against Iraq. The Canadian government under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is maintaining a wait-and-see position with emphasis on UN authority, while moving military planners and ships into positions of readiness for the war against Iraq, as well as freeing US forces by sending troops to Afghanistan. It is in fact doing what it is asked by the US government in military terms, while maintaining a public stance toward the Canadian people that assumes a position of neutrality. As an example, statements were recently made to explain why the frigate HMCS Iroquois was rushed into the Persian Gulf four months ahead of its original schedule; some would suggest that this is to cover the actual purpose of the mission which would be to provide support in a possible war.

Canada has in this regard a situation typical of most of the U.S. ally countries whose populations are opposed to the war against Iraq, but whose leaders are still pressing for military action. It could be argued that the Canadian leadership is lead in part by economic interests which are themselves largely dominated by the United States.