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Obamas Pacific Pivot in US Grand Strategy: A Canadian Perspective

This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Asian Security 9, 3 (2013) [Copyright Taylor and Francis], available online at: 1

Canada sits at a crucial strategic juncture, with the military undergoing an expensive (and increasingly controversial) process of recapitalization, the government focused on deficit reduction and departmental budget tightening, including National Defences, and a longstanding military commitment to Afghanistan finally coming to an end in 2014. As a result, a growing debate has emerged on Canadas post-Afghan role. Much of this debate is limited to the question of whether Canada should participate in stability operations, particularly in Africa.1 Discussion also turns to the future of the Canadian Army, given its operational wartime experience and counterinsurgency expertise, even though appetite for boots on the ground has dramatically lessened.2 Yet Canada needs to look further afield when crafting a post-Afghan role. Officials should not make the mistake of assuming that the next major military commitment will necessarily resemble the last one, whether involving either sizable ground force deployments or counterinsurgency operations. Importantly, Ottawa does not have complete autonomy in its foreign policy and strategic actions. Instead, Canada often uses its superpower patron as a focal point and adapts its policies in accordance to the strategic preferences that take hold in Washington. Canada does not merely follow the American lead on strategic issues. But Canadian security policy is heavily shaped by what goes on south of the border, whether this entails close accommodation with US policies or greater distancing. As a result, Canada has a definite incentive to better understand American strategic preferences and the future direction of its grand strategy. The purpose of this article is to assess the likely trajectory of Canadas post-Afghan security policy in light of the strategic recalibration now underway in Washington. I am referring here specifically to President Barack Obamas pivot to the Asia-Pacific, a move

meant to shore up Americas force presence and reassure regional allies, with important implications to the countrys force structure and broader grand strategy. Officials now prefer to use rebalance in reference to this effort. But, as this article shows, the administration is also strongly inclined towards achieving greater selectivity of commitments in order to preserve continued preponderance in the Asia-Pacific a fact that helps to distinguish the current effort and explains why I prefer making reference to a Pacific pivot, in so far as that term implies pivoting away from other less salient locales. By heralding a more sustained strategic adjustment, Canada will need to reevaluate its position and perhaps take on a more substantial role at least if it hopes to retain some influence in Washington. This would be true even if the government has other priorities or plans to focus elsewhere, given the extent to which Ottawa looks south of the border for cues to guide its own strategic behavior. This article begins by providing an overview on the various elements that make up Obamas pivot to the Asia-Pacific, from Southeast Asia to the Indian Ocean. It situates the pivot in American grand strategy, with a particular emphasis on how fiscal austerity and a more specialized force structure provides the basis for a more fundamental strategic adjustment to selective primacy. It then turns to the subject of Canadas security policy and assesses the extent to which Canadian policymakers will be forced to adapt to this latest strategic initiative to emerge in Washington. The article concludes with some thoughts on an expanded Canadian effort at maritime diplomacy and how the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) could be better prepared for such a role.

Pivoting to the Pacific

The United States initially hoped to offer some strategic reassurance to Beijing.3 Yet such effort proved remarkably short-lived. Rather than reciprocating Obamas initial overtures, Chinese leaders opted for a more uncooperative and assertive position on a range of issues, from Iran and North Korea to currency manipulation to maritime disputes. As a result, the Obama administration began to hue towards a firmer line, perhaps most evident in how the United States has taken a more direct role in the South China Sea maritime dispute.4 In his 2011 trip to the Asia-Pacific, the president spoke about the need for the United States to play a larger and long term role in shaping this region and its future, and used this occasion to announce a first step the deployment of 2,500 Marines on a rotational basis in Darwin, Australia, with negotiations to ensure greater access for US air and naval assets in the country.5 Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coined the term pivot to describe this renewed focus, though it should not be construed as solely military in nature. For instance, Obama moved quickly to reengage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by signing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and joining the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMMPlus). The United States became a member of the East Asia Summit in 2011, even as its effort to free up regional trade continued with its role in negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP). Yet much of this effort is arguably about restricting Chinas burgeoning diplomatic and economic influence in the region, with a strategic logic that goes beyond simply diplomatic niceties or parochial economic interests. In that sense, it is the military component of the pivot that represents the hard-edge of this Pacific reengagement one that has garnered perhaps the most public attention and is the central subject of this analysis. Importantly, the presidents pivot is not limited to the redeployment of US Marines even if this action reflects the Marine Corps growing preference for rotational (albeit persistent)

presence in the region.6 Perhaps more significant is Washingtons interest in air and naval access arrangements with Australia, which coincides with Canberras potential interest in upgrading its existing military bases. For example, the Australian Defence Force Posture Review recommends upgrading naval facilities and services of Fleet Base West near Perth to better handle large capital ships, not only to support the forward deployment of its future destroyers but potentially American vessels as well.7 Indeed, Australia recently assented to greater American naval and air access to its bases, though naval access on the West Coast would still have to wait for port facilities there to be upgraded.8 The Obama administration is also overseeing a redeployment of US Marines from Japan to Guam begun under its predecessor, though the total number has been reduced to 5,000 and its completion pushed back to 2020.9 Plans are also underway to expand the naval facilities and air fields on the island, though much depends on whether adequate funding is available for these upgrades or if infrastructure projects are delayed. It has also been boosting its presence in Southeast Asia, with a small fleet of littoral combat ships to be forward deployed on a rotational basis in Singapore. Military ties have been strengthened with Vietnam, so far involving naval exercises and training between both countries, though Washington has indicated interest in accessing the deepwater naval base at Cam Ranh Bay.10 Relations with Indonesia have been rehabilitated, with the resumption of ties to the Indonesian Kopassus (Army Special Forces) and 200 joint security engagements in 2012 alone.11 Lastly, the US military is now able to use its former naval and air force facilities at Subic Bay and Clark airfield in the Philippines, even as discussions continue on greater American use of base facilities in Thailand.12 President Obama has also followed his predecessors footsteps by strengthening diplomatic and military ties with India. High-level discussions have continued under the Indo-US

Strategic Dialogue, with a burgeoning number of military exchanges, staff talks, and military exercises between the two nations, the centerpiece being the large-scale Malabar maritime exercise.13 Washington sees India as a provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region and a linchpin to the Pacific pivot, if not yet a close ally.14 An even more unexpected development has been the gradual normalization towards Burma (Myanmar), involving the easing of economic sanctions, start of military-to-military ties, and visits by senior US officials, which helped pave the way for a presidential visit in November 2012.15 At this early stage, while much depends on whether the reforms continue, it is clear that Washington hopes to wean the former pariah regime away from Chinas decades-long embrace. The United States has made some progress in forging an implicit link between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in what then Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell described as the next challenge in American strategic thinking.16 Indeed, with greater access to air and naval bases in Darwin and Perth, the United States would have a stronger capacity to project power into the Indian Ocean, and therefore strengthen an IndoPacific strategic linkage. Of course, such access would also provide an important anchor for an Oceania strategy, in which a smaller naval fleet-in-being could coalesce just over the horizon from both the Chinese mainland and the main shipping lanes of Eurasia.17 More broadly, however, there are ample reasons to doubt that Washington is actually pursuing such a radical offshore force posture. One need only look at Americas growing interest in the South China Sea dispute and recent push to strengthen its position in Southeast Asia, to say nothing of its continued presence in Northeast Asia. With the exception of moving some US Marines from Okinawa to Guam and elsewhere, the United States shows little sign of fundamentally altering its commitment to and force presence in South Korea and Japan. In fact, Obama has been keen to

strengthen ties with both allies, including expanded military exercises with Seoul, re-emphasis that the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands fall under the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and engagement with Seoul and Tokyo on nuclear deterrence issues.18 Lest dispersal be mistaken for force reduction, the administration also codified the need to maintain a robust regional military presence in its 2012 Strategic Defense Guidance.19 Then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has spoken about the need to enhance Americas presence, power projection, and deterrence in the Asia-Pacific, and promised to achieve a 60/40 split in naval assets between the Pacific and Atlantic by 2020.20 In a recent speech by his successor, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expanded on this goal to include a 60/40 split in US Air Force assets as well, including tactical aircraft, bombers, and space and cyber capabilities.21 Even ground forces contingents, including the US Army I Corps and the 25th Infantry Division and III Marine Expeditionary Force, have been removed from worldwide service rotation for assignment to the Asia-Pacific.22 Officials have also made clear that the onset of sequestration will not impact this effort, despite resulting in an additional $600 billion in defense cuts over ten years.23 The United States has not eschewed high levels of diplomatic and economic engagement with China, most notably in the expansive Strategic and Economic Dialogue. But, as noted by David Shambaugh, In virtually every subject area of the two governments 60-plus dialogues, substantive differences and frictions are now evident.24 This is not to deny that an improvement in tone is now evident under Beijings newly appointed leadership. Obama has worked hard to establish a personal rapport with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. And, despite rising tension and mutual accusations over cyber espionage, both countries were able to come together at the recent summit to set up a working group on cyber-security. Still, the administration has put relatively greater weight on balancing China rather than simply trying to

engage with it though much depends not only on Chinas reaction to this effort but also the long term sustainability of the pivot itself at a time of fiscal tightening.

Grand Strategy and Fiscal Realities in Obamas Pivot Much like his predecessors, President Obama has eagerly maintained American primacy in the Asia-Pacific. But there is an important qualifier to this point. Yes, strategic preponderance remains as important as it ever was in a region where the threat of a near-peer competitor is considered acute. At the same time, the administration appears more willing to reduce its level of engagement elsewhere. Selective engagement will be pursued in less strategically vital regions, even as the pivot ensures primacy is maintained in the one region where it matters the most.25 As two observers conclude, the United States has prioritized seeking continued dominance in the Pacific basin at a cost to power projection elsewhere.26 The administration now prefers to use the more innocuous term rebalancing, in an apparent effort to avoid the appearance of pivoting away from other commitments.27 Yet this seems to obscure more than it reveals, in so far as Americas actions and stated intentions seem to indicate a much greater willingness to retrench from some of its less strategically salient commitments. It is this fact that provides Obamas Pacific pivot a potentially transformational character fundamentally different from previous efforts. Hints at greater selectivity can be found first in Europe, where the withdrawal of two Army brigades and two air squadrons will reduce the US military commitment there by 15 percent to a low of 68,000.28 Sequestration promises to only undercut the rationale of this still sizable force presence, especially on ground forces designed to deal with the threat of a land invasion that no longer exists a fact noted by the head of US European Command Admiral

James Stavridis, who suspects that the downward trajectory over time will probably continue.29 The same is even true in the Middle East, where the US has already suffered a setback by failing to reach a postwar agreement with Iraq for a residual force presence and base access. The Pentagon hoped to use Kuwait as a possible replacement, but it recently closed down a logistical hub there in late 2012 and scaled its force presence back to 13,500 troops.30 Of course, Washington still places a premium on U.S. and allied military presence in the Mideast.31 But, if sequestration cuts continue, the US may be tempted to scale back its ground forces in Kuwait to save costs. US air assets and naval patrols in the Persian Gulf might be in a safer position. But even these are not necessarily sacrosanct, as shown by the Navys recent decision to retain only a single carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf.32 Some officials speak as if the administration has embraced a grand strategy of restraint or offshore balancing.33 There is a kernel of truth to this position. President Obama has pivoted away from land wars in Southwest Asia and often preferred to employ limited naval and air power (and covert operations) elsewhere, as shown in Libya and Mali or pursued an even more hands off approach in the Syrian civil war, for example. Yet offshore balancing involves a more abject rejection of Americas global role, including the withdrawal of all forward deployed military forces, abrogation of alliance commitments, and wholesale buck-passing to the likes of Germany and Japan.34 In contrast, the United States seems little inclined to relinquish its preponderance in the Asia-Pacific, though a much lighter military footprint is increasingly possible in Europe and the Mideast. Even the US Navy (USN) does not envision either pulling back from its substantial naval presence abroad or dismantling its basing infrastructure, despite occasional comments in support of an offshore position.35

Still, questions have been raised as to whether the pivot will be adequately funded,36 particularly since the defense budget will be increasingly squeezed by the growth of entitlement spending. Many of the pivots initial proponents are no longer in office, including Hillary Clinton, Kurt Campbell, and Leon Panetta, which has generated concern that the new Secretaries of State and Defense John Kerry and Chuck Hagel may not be wedded to the pivot as their predecessors.37 Yet selective primacy has an underlying strategic and fiscal logic that is difficult to discount. True, defense spending cuts can perhaps endanger the military basis of this pivot. But, at a time of budgetary austerity, Washington must pay greater attention on prioritizing different interests, of which the need to manage Chinas rise arguably looms largest. As a result, the United States has greater urgency to become selective in its commitments, so that more military assets and spending can be assigned to the region.38 In that way, US fiscal constraint actually underwrites rather than negates the Pacific pivot. Another factor is the deciding role of the president himself. It would be premature to think that officials could do away with this initiative without considering the presidents own views and there is little indication that Obama has lost interest in the Pacific pivot. A better description of Americas current grand strategy might be selective primacy, where Obamas pivot reflects a narrower application of primacy and retrenchment elsewhere is used to safeguard continued preponderance in the Asia-Pacific. As a component of this grand strategy, the Pacific pivot implies a broader blueprint in how to deal with future defense spending cuts, starting with the principal long term goal of maintaining preponderance in the Asia-Pacific. Washington could in turn pivot away from its commitments elsewhere to safeguard this higher order priority, first with its sizable force presence in Europe, and then by a drawdown from the Middle East if necessary. If correct, additional cuts to Americas force presence in both


regions may soon be in the offing, likely to disproportionately impact ground forces than more flexible naval and air force deployments. Selective primacy also envisions a military force structure attuned to both greater selectivity and a continued force presence in the western Pacific to counter Chinas burgeoning anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities.39 With an A2/AD threat envelope, Beijing would finally have a capacity to contest the maritime and aerospace domains in its immediate littoral zone and beyond, whether by anti-access missile attacks on US naval and air bases in region or by naval operations to contest American command in this theatre in a manner similar to how the Soviet Union pursued a line in the ocean strategy to push back U.S. carriers by establishing defensive maritime perimeters.40 Chinas line would include much of the near seas (Yellow Sea and the East and South China Seas) and potentially extending past the first island chain (composed of the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, and the Philippines). Washington needs to prioritize naval and air power in order to buttress its preponderant position in this region. With the important exception of Korea, American ground forces would be relegated to a secondary role. This implies a reversal of the military service priorities that existed under the previous administration, when both the US Army and Marine Corps expanded to prosecute land wars in Southwest Asia. Already, the US Army is expected to lose much of its recent troop increases, with an active duty force shrinking to 490,000 over the next five years. Discussion is also underway on further reductions arising from sequestration, which could limit the active force to 400,000-425,000 and cut the reserves by tens of thousands.41 Unlike his Army colleagues, Commandant General James Amos has so far been unwilling for the Marine Corps to go below a planned 182,000-strong force, preferring that procurement take the brunt of any further reductions.42 Yet even this outcome could prove optimistic, especially if the United States


opts for a smaller ground presence in Europe and elsewhere. Potential cost-savings should not be discounted. According to a RAND paper, for example, the United States would save $107-126 billion over ten years by eliminating six Army brigade combat teams and 13,500 Marines from the Europe-Mediterranean region.43 In contrast, the US Air Force (USAF) and USN will likely emerge from sequestration in comparatively better shape, if not completely intact. The USAF is still expected to rely on the F35 Lightning II program to fulfill its principal next-generation fighter requirements, despite costoverruns and production delays though fewer numbers of F-35 aircraft will likely be procured in the current fiscal climate. Still, the United States has the option of either accelerating the development of next-generation unmanned vehicles or procuring greater quantities of less advanced (but still formidable) aircraft, such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, which could help safeguard its plans for a new long-range strike bomber. The USN, in turn, only expects a modest increase in fleet size to 300 ships, though this goal could also prove overly optimistic after sequestration. Notably, the Navy has at least emphasized maintaining its inventory of Aegis destroyers, nuclear attack submarines, and carrier strike groups; precisely those platforms that would help ensure its command of the maritime commons.44 Even with a modest decrease in size, the United States would still have a comparatively large fleet composed of extremely formidable ships, with the option of surging these forces to a particular region, if required. Undoubtedly, both services are under growing budgetary pressure that could impact their readiness, deployments, and even procurement plans even if not to the extent proposed by more alarmist accounts that underplay expected delays in procurement and overlook the likely formidable size of Americas air and naval fleets.45 Still, the Air Force might discover that its next-generation fighter aircraft and strike bombers are unaffordable, leading to an even more


radical restructuring of its future fleet, while the Navy could find maintaining eleven carrier strike groups far too ambitious and cut back on some of its capital ships. Yet, unlike their ground counterparts, the USN and USAF play a crucial role in buttressing Americas military presence in the Asia-Pacific. For Washington, this creates an additional incentive to let any defense cuts fall disproportionately on the ground forces, since manpower can be regenerated relatively quickly in contrast to large capital projects.46 The USN and USAF can also compensate for capital shortfalls in other ways. On one hand, both services have been intent on renewing their operational partnership through the AirSea Battle concept, designed to construct a capacity for Networked, Integrated Attack-inDepth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat A2/AD threats. Yet this concept is also about improving Americas power projection capabilities in smarter, more cost-effective ways. By emphasizing networking and integration, it envisions increasing cross-service synergy that would improve the ability of existing platforms to operate or deliver effects, which could better preparing the USN and USAF to deal with smaller budgetary outlays.47 On the other hand, given its intention to pivot away from other locales, the United States could reposition naval and air assets from less vital positions to ensure a robust military presence in Asia. For example, even if the USNs fleet modestly shrinks, it could still reposition naval assets in such a way as to retain much of the core strength of the US Pacific Fleet. Indeed, the USN has the means to relatively quickly surge assets from one theatre to another, thereby reducing (if not eliminating) some of the risks associated with a more selective American overseas naval presence.

A Canadian Contribution to the Pacific Pivot


Canada has made some recent moves to reinvigorate its engagement in the Asia-Pacific. In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harpers government finally acceded to ASEANs Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was also particularly active in the region, whether by taking the lead in engaging Myanmar, pushing for bilateral free trade agreements, including with South Korea and Japan, or committing C$10-million in funding to ASEAN-related projects.48 The Canadian government also formally joined the TTP negotiations as a full partner and indicated interest in the East Asia Summit, though it has more limited negotiating rights in the former (like other late entrants) and has yet to be invited to the latter.49 Ottawa has also shown a greater willingness to expand its security role as leverage to join the regions institutional architecture. Of particular importance is the ADMM-Plus, widely seen as a stepping stone to join the East Asia Summit.50 Indeed, senior officials led by then Defence Minister Peter MacKay have begun to make more regular appearances at the Shangri-La Dialogue, with an eye towards gaining an invitation to ADMM-Plus. Canada is negotiating a mutual logistics support agreement with Japan and shown interest in a logistical support hub in Singapore, likely to include a cross-services agreement and access to facilities.51 One can also point to Canadas role in the 2012 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational exercise, where it deployed a relatively strong 1,400-strong contingent and occupied key command positions.52 Yet it remains to be seen whether the governments current reengagement will be sustained in the long term. With only a few exceptions, much of Canadas post-Cold War interest has been focused on trade, exemplified by Team Canada trade missions to China. Even this economic engagement lacked much of a strategic dimension.53 Attention also fluctuates based on the particular proclivities of the government in power. A good example is Prime Minister Harpers decision to spurn talk of a strategic partnership with China for reasons of human


rights, then to reverse course soon afterwards.54 With that in mind, Canada may find it unexpectedly difficult to be treated as a long term regional player or be invited for a seat at ADMM-Plus, let alone the East Asia Summit. This was recently brought home at the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue, where Peter MacKay publicly broached the issue of participating in ADMM-Plus only to be politely rejected by his Singaporean counterpart.55 Clearly, a core deficit has been Canadas lack of a strategic rationale in the Asia-Pacific. It partly arises from the privileged position of North America and Europe in Canadian security policy. At a more fundamental level, it is a consequence of how Canada traditionally follows Americas lead on politico-military issues, owing to its strong adaptive or responsive tendencies.56 This fact helps to explain why Canada places greater priority on continental and trans-Atlantic ties, the former in recognition that Washington saw bilateral cooperation as necessary to secure North America from Soviet attack, the latter coming from the need to cement Americas security guarantees to Europe within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). One can also look to when Canada last played a strategic role in East Asia, from its involvement in Korea (militarily) to Indochina (diplomatically) until the early 1970s. Then, officials were largely focused on adapting to the ebb and flow of Americas interventions, which distracted attention from the Central Front and even raised the possibility of nuclear war a concern only put to rest with Washingtons post-Vietnam disengagement and the onset of SinoAmerican rapprochement.57 Canada then expanded economic and trade links to the region, but its involvement on regional security matters remained modest or sporadic at best essentially limited to Prime Minister Brian Mulroneys short-lived North Pacific Cooperative Security Dialogue and funding of the South China Sea Dialogue in the 1990s. Yet Obamas pivot may soon make this situation untenable. After all, the United States now has a strong incentive to


strengthen regional alliances, share more of the burden of this effort, and to look further afield for new partners, already apparent in the emerging alignment between Washington and New Delhi. If it continues, Canada will find its modest role in the region under greater scrutiny. Of course, Canada could opt to instead backstop the receding American military presence in Europe and the Mediterranean, as a means of indirect support. Much depends on how amenable the pivot is to Canada and the extent to which both countries preferences converge a subject to be discussed shortly. Yet it is important not to overstate such concerns. Canada has a strong preference for more direct forms of cooperation with the Americans, especially if their interests coincide. As such, Canada is unlikely to play too distant a role on issues that our ally sees as important, any more than it was willing to settle for a role in North America when Washington was fixated on the Central Front in the Cold War. It might not be in Canadas more parochial economic interest to do so either, given the economic dynamism of the Asia-Pacific compared to that of Europe and elsewhere. As noted in a recent report, if it hopes to make economic inroads, Canada needs to pursue full-scale engagement across multiple domains, including on security, rather than rely on a one-legged (read economic) strategy.58 As such, Canadas participation in the Pacific pivot may soon become the only strategic game in town, so to speak. Of course, Canada has traditionally been inclined to skirt between close cooperation and maximizing distance in its relationship to its superpower ally a tendency likely to shape how the country actually responds to Americas Pacific pivot. Some important conditions seem to impact the relative balance between these contradictory impulses towards accommodation and distancing in Canadian grand strategy.59 Among the most basic is whether the United States actually prioritizes a particular initiative. After all, American proposals periodically emerge


without substantive support or funding, a good example being initial plans for an ambitious continental air defense perimeter with little official support from Washington in the mid-to-late 1940s.60 Equally important is for Canadas participation or endorsement of an initiative to be valued, thereby creating an incentive for the United States to turn its attention on its northern neighbor. On the first condition, the United States seems ready to prioritize military commitments in the Asia-Pacific. As outlined earlier, rather than a modest and short-lived recalibration, Obamas pivot actually presages a more fundamental strategic adjustment likely to deepen in coming years, due to Americas fiscal problems and the constraints of a more specialized force structure. The question then becomes whether Washington will soon put some pressure on Canada to support its effort in the region. The answer here is more ambiguous. The United States has so far been intent on emphasizing burden-sharing with its immediate allies in the region. However, as Washingtons fiscal tightening continues, there is also reason to suspect that American officials would turn their attention to other allies, including Canada. Admittedly, the United States could encourage its allies to commit towards greater burden-sharing elsewhere, as a way to facilitate its retrenchment from other locales and enable a semblance of continued global engagement. Yet such concerns are also likely to fall to the wayside, pulled under by the combined weight of a growing Chinese military challenge and the consequent difficulty of maintaining preponderance at a time of budget cuts. Selective primacy places a premium on prioritizing the Asia-Pacific at the expense of other commitments a logic that creates an incentive to emphasize burden-sharing for this region among countries best able to contribute. European countries that lack sufficient power projection capabilities may be asked to buttress the


American presence in their own region; the same cannot be said of a blue-water, extra-regional power like Canada. Other conditions will then help shape Canadas policy response. For instance, Canada prefers to avoid cooperation when it involves significant controversy that could generate political headaches at home, whether from the initiative in question or through guilt by association to an unpopular administration. One example is Ottawas aversion to join the controversial Strategic Defense Initiative of the 1980s, which the Liberal opposition was quick to disparage as space weaponization.61 It can also be seen in the controversy attached to President George W. Bushs missile defense deployment, though rejection in this case was more closely associated with anxieties about the administration itself.62 Equally important is for both countries to share the sense of threat that underpins the initiative, which would help to smooth possible wrinkles to emerge from bilateral cooperation and make Ottawa more willing to accept any perceived sense of subservience to emerge from it. For instance, Canada had little objection to the militarization of the NATO alliance in the 1950s, due not least to concerns over direct Soviet conventional aggression after the Korean War.63 Without such convergence, Canada could very well see greater benefit in adopting more implicit, arms-length forms of support. Yet Canada is unlikely to find much controversy in the pivots close association with the current US administration. Indeed, compared to his almost vilified predecessor, President Obama has proven exceptionally popular in this country, with polls just prior to the last election showing that two-thirds of Canadians would vote for him if possible, including 79 per cent of Quebecers and 71 per cent of Canadian women.64 Indeed, with Obamas popularity higher than the prime ministers, the government could even discover that it has little choice other than to support American preferences on this matter, if only to forestall any domestic political repercussions.


More uncertain is how Canada might perceive the Pacific pivot itself. Canadian political leaders will likely be wary of action that could potentially jeopardize economic ties with this rising Asian power. Another possible problem is that Obamas pivot is closely tied to Americas alliance system in East Asia. There, compared to the multilateral norms that hold sway across the Atlantic, the United States has historically preferred bilateral alliances under the San Francisco hub-and-spokes system. It can even be extended to regional alliances often mistaken for being multilateral, like the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO).65 Yet Ottawa strongly prefers placing ties with the United States within a multilateral framework, at least when cooperating beyond the confines of North America. So the prospect of operating in a strictly bilateral setting might not be so appealing. The first point depends on whether Canada necessarily sees eye-to-eye with the Americans on China. As such, it is closely associated with the relative convergence or divergence between the two countries on the China threat, in so far as a higher sense of threat more similar to that which is prevalent in the United States would make it less controversial to both participate in the pivot and risk economic ties with China. Canada might have grown concerned about Chinese industrial espionage, cyber attacks, and foreign influence, but there is relatively little discussion on the strategic implications of Chinas military rise.66 Still, Canada also has little chance of siding decisively against Washington on this issue. As Bruce Gilley notes, Canada lacks structural or normative incentives to bandwagon alongside China. Simply put, there is no possibility of Canada pushing for an Asian third option any time soon. If tensions increase between Beijing and Washington, Canada will be strongly inclined to become more closely aligned with the latter, even if continuing bilateral differences with Washington


could provide a possible way to justify a bridging role among allies and indeed with China itself.67 On the second point, it is important to recognize that the San Francisco system has begun to evolve. Japan signed a bilateral intelligence sharing agreement with South Korea, and both countries now undertake joint exercises with the United States in the Yellow Sea, with current discussion focusing on a trilateral dialogue between them. It might be premature to envision a Korea-Japan alliance, given the distinct lack of mutual trust and domestic/structural impediments to greater cooperation.68 But, clearly, one can also no longer say that there is no apparent connections between the spokes.69 Even closer bilateral ties are evident between Australia and Japan, with an important turning point taking place in 2005, when Australia dispatched hundreds of additional troops to protect Japanese soldiers deployed in Iraq.70 Afterwards, both countries signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in 2007, followed quickly by an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement to increase military interoperability. Intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and Japanese involvement in Australias Collins submarine replacement project are possible next steps, with some discussion raising the possibility of an Australia-Japan alliance.71 Ministerial-level discussions have also expanded between Australia, Japan, and the United States under the Trilateral Security Dialogue. These high-level discussions were briefly superseded with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that had India as a member, in an apparent reaffirmation of when India joined a core group to coordinate disaster relief in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami though this arrangement also shared a similar fate to the shortlived core group.72 All four Quad countries held occasional quadrilateral meetings and, with the inclusion of Singapore, participated in the Malabar maritime exercise in the Bay of Bengal in


2007. But Australian and Indian interest in this new framework suddenly cooled, due not least to concern about unduly alarming China.73 It might have been dealt a final blow with the 2007 resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the strongest proponent of this arrangement though his return as prime minister in 2012 does potentially auger well for deepening quadrilateral ties. Indeed, regional ties have only deepened in recent years. Trilateral discussions continue between Japan, Australia, and the United States. Meanwhile, Australia has pursued bilateral 2+2 meetings with Japan and South Korea, involving their respective countries defence and foreign ministers. New Delhi has also steadily strengthened ties not only with Washington, but also both Japan and Australia, the northern and southern anchors of the Western alliance system.74 With Japan, for instance, India signed a Roadmap for New Dimensions to the Strategic and Global Partnership in 2007, followed by a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation one year later, which initiated naval talks, a defense policy dialogue, and military exercises.75 India and Australia also signed agreements in 2006 and 2007 on joint naval exercises, enhanced maritime security cooperation, increased military exchanges, and joint training.76 True, relations between both countries took a quick downturn following Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudds refusal to sale uranium to India. Yet Canberra now shows greater willingness to lift its ban on uranium sales and expand military-to-military cooperation.77 Rather than solely a bilateral hub-and-spokes system, one can see at least the beginnings of a more diffused network emerging in the region, what Dan Blumethal calls a point to point or networked model of alliances.78 True, Americas bilateral alliances remain at the core of this system. But bilateral ties between the spokes are now an important supplement, in addition to a growing number of trilateral and quadrilateral discussions between different sets of countries, in


what can be called mini-lateral arrangements.79 This does not mean that a formal multilateral alliance is on the horizon, to say nothing of the multilateral norms and institutions that Canada finds so familiar across the North Atlantic. The fate of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue provides a sobering lesson on this point. Still, Ottawa will likely find it easier to accept closer bilateral Canada-US cooperation when it is situated in an emerging network marked by minilateral ties. As a result, Canada has the opportunity to not only enhance cooperation with Americans but also do the same with many of allies and partners (for example, Japan, India, and Australia), thereby strengthening the network and diffusing some of the controversy close ties with the superpower seems to engender in the country. One can therefore surmise that Canada will prove supportive of the United States in its Pacific pivot. Washington will still likely need to show at least greater interest for it to do so, at least for Canada to go beyond its current levels of engagement unless Canadian officials prove unexpectedly proactive. Cooperation rather than distancing will be the dominant tendency in Ottawa. Yet, without greater convergence on the China threat, Canada will likely prefer more modest ways to support the United States. Indirect support will likely prove a step too far, for the reasons already addressed. Instead, Canada will likely prefer more direct forms of support sufficient to placate the Americans and give the government a faade of independence, but limited enough to minimize the risk of damaging economic ties with a rising China.

Canadian Maritime Diplomacy: A Way Forward? One fruitful avenue of Canada-US cooperation in the Asia-Pacific is maritime diplomacy. Such activity seems ideally suited in a theatre where key players are expanding their naval capabilities and could be involved in regional maritime flashpoints, whether the Taiwan Straits,


South China Sea, or the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.80 It would also complement the militarys postAfghan emphasis on defense diplomacy, as outlined in the Department of National Defences Global Engagement Strategy.81 Indeed, by expanding its naval role in such a way, Canada would be able to more convincingly argue for its inclusion in ADMM-Plus, and eventually the East Asia Summit. For example, ADMM-Plus has an Expert Working Group to facilitate cooperation in maritime security, which would be the natural loci for an expanded Canadian naval effort.82 Other working groups also explore non-traditional security issues heavily tied to the maritime domain, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and counter-terrorism. If necessary, naval forces would also be equally useful way to demonstrate commitment on traditional security concerns like sea control, for example a possibility that should not be discounted given that a competitive naval element is increasingly part of the East Asian strategic landscape.83 The RCN already has a history of making naval port calls to the Pacific since 1995, under a rolling five-year deployment pattern called WESTPLOY designed to ensure a consistent and predictable Canadian naval presence in Asian water.84 Even then, WESTPLOY is limited to alternating visits to Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia. Moreover, with the exception of RIMPAC, Canada often settles for ad hoc participation in the regional military exercises, such as the trilateral naval exercise between Japan, the US, and Canada during the WESTPLOY deployment in 2008.85 Yet more needs to be done. For example, Canadian frigates or destroyers could be permanently integrated into US carrier battle groups operating in the western Pacific,86 similar to how it commits warships to the Standing NATO Maritime Group (and the Standing Naval Force Atlantic before that). With the high levels of interoperability between RCN and USN, this could be done relatively easily so long as sufficient RCN vessels are available. Canada should also balance such bilateral ties by establishing closer naval ties with Americas


key allies and partners, such as Australia, Japan, and even India. This would include not only show the flag port calls but also more frequent maritime exercises with allied navies. RIMPAC remains one of the most important venues for maritime diplomacy, which necessitates a strong Canadian presence. But RCN could also be involved in additional bilateral or mini-lateral exercises, not all of which need to involve the USN. Canada should also not be averse to joining any multinational deterrence patrols and future naval task forces, which could provide a means to work with non-traditional coalition partners on a range of different issues, from terrorism and piracy to weapons of mass destruction.87 When placed alongside more varied maritime ties, it would even help reduce the perception that Ottawa is simply falling in line behind Washington in its Pacific pivot. As such, Canadas actions would increase the level of cooperation with the Americans but would do so in a relatively low-key manner. Canada could ensure that maritime diplomacy also includes overtures to the Peoples Liberation Armys Navy (PLAN), including participating in bilateral or trilateral maritime exercises with this rapidly modernizing naval force. This could further minimize the perception of Canadas subservience to Washington while also helping to reassure China that the RCNs maritime reengagement is not part of any purported containment or encirclement effort. Yet this discussion on the Canadas maritime diplomacy only raises another question. Does Canada have the military means to fulfill such a role? The answer here is more mixed. Canada could benefit from placing more of its naval forces on the West Coast than the East, rather than the current 55/45 division favoring the latter.88 Equally useful would be to forward base some vessels or air assets in the western Pacific, whether in Guam or even Singapore, which could ensure a more regular force presence and reduce some of the logistical difficulties of


operating in this theatre. With a mid-sized blue-water fleet, the RCN would only have the means to modestly increase its presence in the Pacific, even with a more favorable deployment scheme. But such a redeployment would be an important first step in signaling Canadas resolve to support Americas Pacific pivot, while also providing a increased (albeit still limited) capacity for maritime diplomacy. Of course, much also depends on how the RCN proceeds with its fleetreplacement plans. Further delays in procuring replacements for its auxiliary oil replenishment (AOR) ships and guided missile destroyers could result in a temporary loss of key capabilities, thereby degrading Canadas ability to play a supporting role in the short-term, or at best induce an expensive effort to maintain and modernize increasingly aging ships. More problematic is the question of capital funding for fleet-replacement. On one hand, Canada needs to ensure that the actual size of its blue-water fleet is maintained, including a suitable number of replacements for its destroyers, frigates, and AOR ships the first two coming under the Canadian Surface Combatant project and the last coming under the Joint Supply Ship project (essentially an AOR+). If the size of the fleet declines further, Canada will find it very difficult to reprioritize its fleet to the Pacific. Indeed, it might be hard enough just to maintain the current number of naval assets stationed in Esquimalt, British Columbia, to say nothing of increasing it. Moreover, in the absence of enough ships, Canada will likely find it difficult to either expand its Pacific deployment scheme beyond WESTPLOY or be invited to participate in military exercises there, let alone increase naval ties with regional partners. On the other hand, the RCN needs to have the necessary capabilities to operate in the western Pacific. Fortunately, as specified in its recent draft Horizon 2050 naval strategy, the RCN seems to recognize the challenge posed by inter-state maritime armed conflict and sophisticated area denial capabilities, in what Elinor Sloan views as an implicit reference to


Chinas A2/AD capabilities.89 Yet it remains to be seen whether the RCN will have the requisite capabilities to join with its American (and allied) counterparts in confronting such challenges. For example, even with its historic area-air defense role, the RCN has given little indication about adding the Aegis combat system to its future vessels, which offers an important capability against Chinas anti-access missile threat while permitting the RCN to support key defensive missions envisioned in the US AirSea Battle concept. Aegis could be required for Canadas navy to maintain interoperability with the USN and its many regional partners (Australia, South Korea, Japan), all of which are rapidly expanding their fleet of Aegis warships.90 It could also provide a means for Canada to realize the full potential of its planned acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II. After all, many regional allies are acquiring both F-35s and Aegis ships, and the interconnected networked sensors of these fifth-generation aircraft could be mated with the Aegis system under its launch-on-remote concept, thereby creating an integrated air-sea sensor net for deployed fleets.91 Little discussion is also underway on the possible contributions of anti-submarine warfare (ASW), highly valued by Americans and others to ensure sea control in the face of Chinas growing undersea fleet. The RCN could also potentially leverage an ASW capability to cement a naval partnership with other regional partners. One possibility is the Japanese Maritime SelfDefense Force, which operates a large and sophisticated undersea and surface ASW fleet and has shown growing willingness to contemplate strategic relations beyond its traditional America ally, including Australia. The RCN has historically undertaken area-air defense and surface ASW/escort missions, so this defensive role would be quite familiar. Indeed, its Victoria diesel submarines could prove a very useful platform for ASW missions, in a return to when the RCN briefly acquired an undersea ASW capability after refurbishing its older Oberon submarines in


the 1980s.92 It would also allow Canada to avoid some of the more troubling offensive aspects of AirSea Battle, even if it raises uncomfortable questions on replacing Canadas aging Aurora maritime patrol aircraft, and eventually its submarines. Yet, in the absence of sufficient funding, the RCN will likely discover the natural tradeoff between fleet size and ensuring that these ships maintain their qualitative edge. Canada has already scaled back the Joint Supply Ships capabilities and settled for only two vessels, which could very well curtail its operational sustainment capability and at the very least displays a marked under-appreciation on the need for at-sea replenishment, especially in an expansive maritime environment like the Pacific.93 The same could eventually be said of the Canadian Surface Combatants. Critics already question whether Canadas National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategys C$33 billion budget envelope is sufficient to recapitalize naval and coast guard fleets, especially with rising platform costs and possible capital budget shortfalls.94 With a decades-long procurement process, one can imagine a future government someday deciding to scale back capital spending. In such a situation, Canadian defense planners may have to envision a more specialized military force structure. The full implications of such a force structure are beyond the scope of this article. But one should at least recall that some degree of military specialization is not totally unfamiliar to the Canadian Armed Forces. One can see it in how the RCN evolved into a specialized (albeit flexible) surface-oriented ASW force for much of the Cold War, or in how Canadas military finally shed its nuclear role by the 1980s. Even Canadas involvement in Afghanistan has only facilitated de facto specialization in land-centric missions.95 As such, Canada may need to face some hard choices about its military force structure and the relative priority assigned to its three services. To ensure a robust naval fleet, Canada may simply have to follow the Americans by


cutting personnel numbers and accepting that such an outcome would adversely impact the Army over more capital-intensive services. With a more balance capital-to-personnel ratio, one can better ensure greater funding is allocated for equipment renewal and fleet replacement.96 Such specialization might be necessary for Canada to maintain high-end combat-capable naval and air forces into the future. If not ideal, it may also be the only way for the RCN to ensure that it has the numbers to reposition to the Pacific and capabilities to operate in an anti-access environment. Importantly, this outcome would not reduce the RCN to a niche naval role for the Pacific, in so far as naval vessels are inherently flexible and can be redeployed or surged into other theatres, some of which face an A2/AD challenge as well, not least the Persian Gulf.

Conclusion Canada has already made some limited effort at reengaging in the Asia-Pacific. Yet even this progress will likely prove insufficient in coming years, especially as the United States reduces its global commitments to sustain a preponderant position in the Pacific. Such an outcome remains only in the realm of a conjecture. However, there are strategic and fiscal reasons to believe that Obamas pivot heralds a more significant strategic adjustment towards selective primacy. It seems to be only a matter of time before renewed attention on burdensharing is finally brought to bear on Canada. Ottawa is also unlikely to be intransigent when it comes to adapting to American preferences here, so long as key factors points to cooperation rather than distance. Simply put, irrespective of the governments own plans and proclivities, Canadas strategic behavior has often been heavily shaped (if not determined) by what takes place in Washington a reactive tendency that has proven especially difficult to overcome. Importantly, as this article shows,


Canadian support for the Pacific pivot will not prove terribly controversial, even if some qualms can be expected due to the limited convergence on the need to counter Chinas growing military power. This means that Canada should prepare to increase its cooperation with the United States, even if care must be taken to minimize its consequence on the countrys economic and trade links with China. Such modest distancing would also have the ancillary benefit of demonstrating Canadas resolve in maintaining a semblance of independence, while making closer cooperation with the Americans more domestically palatable. Maritime diplomacy seems to provide the best way to achieve such a balanced approach. Naval assets have a natural suitability to this heavily maritime theatre. Indeed, by using the RCN as the centerpiece of its reengagement effort, Canada would be offering capabilities ideally suited to buttress Americas own position and contribute to possible military contingencies, whether in the Taiwan Straits, the Korean Peninsula, or elsewhere. Such assets also have a number of different uses, ranging from power projection and sea control to logistical support, which gives them a flexible and potentially non-intrusive character. Importantly, maritime diplomacy is also inherently amenable to modest forms of distancing from the United States, whether by engaging in the loose maritime network emerging in the region, including ties with regional navies and even the PLAN, or by providing a means to support Canadas participation in the regions broader security architecture. If required, Canada has the option of reducing its naval involvement. But, if Canadas sense of threat from China increases, the government can also turn to more robust demonstrations of support, by increasing ties with America and her allies and/or minimizing its attempts to assuage Chinese concerns.


Brian Stewart, Time for Canada to get back to peacekeeping, CBC News, December 3, 2012. Available at Also see Louis Delvoie, What Next for the Canadian Forces? Not the Congo, On Track Vol. 15, No. 4 (Winter 2010/11): pp 28-29. 2 Eugene Lang and Eric Morse, World-class Canadian military now at Ottawas disposal, Toronto Star, June 11, 2011. 3 Aaron Friedberg, Bucking Beijing: An Alternative to U.S. China Policy, Foreign Affairs Vol. 91, No. 5 (September/October 2012), p 52. 4 For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the need for any resolution to take into account exclusive economic zones and continental shelves, in an implicit rebuff of Chinas historical claims. See Leszek Buszynski, The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and US-China Strategic Rivalry, The Washington Quarterly Vol. 35, No. 2 (Spring 2012), p 148. 5 The White House, Remarks by President Obama to the Australian Parliament, November 17, 2011, and Craig Whitlock, U.S., Australia to Broaden Military Ties Amid Pentagon Pivot to SE Asia, Washington Post, March 26, 2012. 6 Robbin Laird, The US Marine Corps in the Pivot to the Pacific, The Diplomat, May 24, 2013. Available at 7 Australian Government (Allan Hawke and Ric Smith), Australian Defence Force Posture Review (March 30, 2012), pp 32-33. 8 Jonathan Pearlman, Australia to allow greater US naval access to west coast, Strait Times, November 13, 2012. 9 Alex Frangos, Plan to Shift U.S. Forces in Pacific Hits Speed Bumps on Guam, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2013. 10 William Wan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta highlights U.S. ties to Vietnam during visit, The Washington Post, June 3, 2012, and Gopal Ratman, Cam Ranh Bay Lures Panetta Seeking Return to Vietnam Port, Bloomberg News, June 4, 2012. 11 Murray Hiebert and Jeremiah Magpile, Comprehensive Partnership Nudges U.S.-Indonesia Relations to New Levels of Cooperation, Southeast Asia from the Corner of 18th & K Streets, September 27, 2012, p 3. 12 Manuel Mogato, The US military pivot to Asia: when bases are not bases, Reuters, November 14, 2012. Available at Craig Whitlock, U.S. eyes return to some Southeast Asia military bases, The Washington Post, June 22, 2012. 13 See K. Alan Kronstadt and Sonia Pinto, India-US Security Relations: Current Engagement, CSR Report for Congress (November 13, 2012), pp 1-33. 14 United States, Department of Defense, Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, January 2012 (hereafter the 2012 Strategic Defense Guidance), p 2, and Pentagon transcript. Available at 15 Prashanth Parameswaran, Obama Visit Reflects Myanmars Key Role in US Pivot to Asia, World Politics Review, November 27, 2012. Available at Joshua Kurlantzick, The Moral and Strategic Blindspot in Obamas Pivot to Asia, New Republic, November 20, 2012. 16 Quoted in Mark Manyin et al., Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administrations Rebalancing Towards Asia, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress (March 28, 2012), p 5. 17 Robert Kaplan, The Geography of Chinese Power, Foreign Affairs Vol. 89, No. 3 (May/June 2010), p 40. For this strategy to be effective, the United States would need to establish a more permanent military presence near Perth for a carrier strike group, an expensive proposition given that the estimated cost of a nuclear carrier-capable port ranges from $1-5 billion. David Berteau and Michael Green (directors), US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 2012), p 74. 18 This involves the US-Republic of Korea Extended Deterrence Policy Committee and the US-Japan Extended Deterrence Dialogue. 19 2012 Strategic Defense Guidance, p 2. 20 Pentagon transcripts. Available at, and 21 Karen Parrish, U.S. Following Through on Pacific Rebalance, Hagel Says, Armed Forces Press Service, June 1, 2013. Available at 22 Statement of Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, US Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Before the House Armed Service Committee on U.S. Pacific Command Posture, Hearing: The Posture of the U.S. Pacific Command


and U.S. Strategic Command, House Armed Service Committee, March 5, 2013, pp 30-31. Available at 23 David Beitelman, Americas Pacific Pivot, International Journal Vol. 67, No. 4 (Autumn 2012), p 1088, and Asia rebalance remains U.S. priority amid fiscal woes: Pentagon, Reuters, February 27, 2013. Available at 24 David Shambaugh, Conceptualizing the U.S.-China Relationship, in David Shambaugh, ed., Tangled Titans: The United States and China (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers), p 21 (emphasis in original). 25 For more on selective engagement and primacy, see Barry Posen and Andrew Ross, Competing Visions for US Grand Strategy, International Security Vol. 21, No. 3 (Winter 1996/97), pp 5-53. 26 David Carment and Simon Palamar, Canada Grapples with Asia Dilemma, The Diplomat, February 10, 2012. Available at 27 Richard Weitz, Pivot Out, Rebalance In, The Diplomat, May 3, 2012. Available at 28 Donna Miles, Force Changes in Europe to Preserve Strategic Edge, American Forces Press Service, May 7, 2012. Available at 29 Jeff Schogol, European troop cuts may be deeper than expected, Army Times, March 19, 2013. Available at 30 Kenneth Katzman, Kuwait: Security, Reform, and US Policy, CRS Report for Congress (Congressional Research Service, December 6, 2012), 16. 31 2012 Strategic Defense Guidance, 2 32 Lolita Baldor, US to cut carrier fleet in Persian Gulf to 1, Associated Press, February 6, 2013. Available at 33 See John Barry, Historic Shift in US Strategy Will Have Major Impact on Europe, European Affairs, April 2012. Available at 34 Christopher Layne, From Preponderance to Offshore Balancing: Americas Future Grand Strategy, International Security (Summer 1997), pp 86-124. 35 See James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara, An Ocean Too Far: Offshore Balancing in the Indian Ocean, Asian Security Vol. 8, No. 1 (2012), pp 1-26. 36 On the first concern, see Dan Blumethal, The U.S. Response to Chinas Military Modernization, in Ashley Tellis and Travis Tanner, eds., Strategic Asia 2012-13:Chinas Military Challenge (Seattle, WA: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2012), p 324. 37 Michael Auslin, The Asian Pivot Under New Management, Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2013. 38 Benjamin Schreer, Planning the unthinkable war: AirSea Battle and its implications for Australia, Strategy Report (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, April 2013), p 15. 39 Of particular concern in the latter is Chinas regional missile force, including 1,000-1,200 short-range ballistic missiles, 75-100 road-mobile medium-range ballistic missiles, 200-500 second-generation land-attack cruise missiles, and a new medium-range anti-ship ballistic missile. In recent years, Chinas navy displays a much greater capacity for anti-ship and area-air defense missions, with the acquisition of 23 advanced diesel-electric submarines, 4 Russian Sovremenny destroyers, and upwards of 50 indigenous major surface combatants, with more undergoing serial production, including advanced warships like the Luyang II and Luyang III destroyer and Jiangkai II frigate. It has also recently commissioned a revamped Russian aircraft carrier as the Liaoning, with indigenous carriers expected to be launched in coming years. See United States, Department of Defense, Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the Peoples Republic of China, 2013 (Office of the Secretary of Defense, May 2013), and Ronald ORourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities Background and Issues for Congress, CRS Report for Congress (December 10, 2012). 40 Blumethal, The U.S. Response, 317. 41 C. Todd Lopez, Odierno: Sequestration could lead to hollow Army, Army News Service, May 17, 2012. Available at 42 Andrea Shalal-Esa, Budget cuts seen squeezing Marines capacity, programs, Reuters, September 10, 2012. Available at 43 Stuart Johnson et al., A Strategy-Based Framework for Accommodating Reductions in the Defense Budget, Occasional Paper (RAND National Defense Research Institute, 2012), pp 37-38.


United States, Department of the Navy, Annual Report to Congress on Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for FY2013, April 2012, p 12. 45 Schreer, Planning the unthinkable war, p 14. 46 David Barno, Nora Bensahel, and Travis Sharp, Hard Choices: Responsible Defense in an Age of Austerity (Washington, DC: Center for New American Security, October 2011), p 11. 47 Norton Schwartz and Jonathan Greenert, Air-Sea Battle, Promoting Stability in an Era of Uncertainty, The American Interest, February 20, 2012 (emphasis added). Available at For more on the crucial role of networks and integration in Air-Sea Battle, see Richard Bitzinger and Michael Raska, The AirSea Battle Debate and the Future of Conflict in East Asia, RSIS Policy Brief (February 2013), pp 1-8. 48 See Brian Job, Revitalizing CanadaSoutheast Asia relations: The TAC gives US a ticket. . . but do we have a destination? Canada-Asia Agenda, August 25, 2010, p 3, and Peter MacKay, New Trends in Asia-Pacific Security, speech at the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue Fourth Plenary Session, 2 June 2013. Available at 49 Brian Job, Realizing the Other Half of Diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Will Canadas Efforts Last? CanadaAsia Agenda, August 7, 2012, p 3, and Hugh Stephens, Canadas Asia Pivot, The Diplomat, July 27, 2012. Available at 50 Campbell Clark, Mackay presses China to take regional disputes to UN, Globe and Mail, June 4, 2013. Available at 51 Job, Realizing the Other Half of Diplomacy, p 5. 52 Canadians get key posts in huge joint military exercise, The Canadian Press, July 15, 2012. Available at 53 Paul Evans, Engagement with conservative characteristics: Policy and public attitudes, 20062011, in Pitman Potter and Thomas Adams, eds., Issues in CanadaChina Relations (Toronto: Canadian International Council, 2011), p 27. 54 See Wenran Jiang, Seeking a strategic vision for Canada-China relations, International Journal Vol. 64, No. 4 (Autumn 2009): pp 891-909. 55 Peter Jennings, Australia and Canada: the kangamoose wakes, The Strategist blog, June 12, 2013. Available at 56 Don Munton, Planning in the East Block: the Post-Hostilities Problem Committees in Canada 1943-5, International Journal Vol. 32, No. 4 (1976-77), p 706, and Norman Hillmer, Canada, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Boundaries of Alignment, in Ann-Sofie Dahl and Norman Hillmer, eds. Activism and (Non)Alignment: The Relationship between Foreign Policy and Security Doctrine (Stockholm: Swedish Institute of International Affairs, 2002), p 57. 57 David McDonough, Canada, Grand Strategy, and the Asia-Pacific: Past Lessons, Future Directions, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal Vol. 18, No. 2 (2012), pp 273-286. 58 Don Campbell, Paul Evans, and Pierre Lortie, Securing Canadas Place in Asia: Means, Institutions and Mechanisms (Vancouver, BC: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, August 2012), p 13. 59 See David McDonough, Getting It Just Right: Strategic Culture, Cybernetics, and Canada's Goldilocks Grand Strategy, Comparative Strategy Vol. 32, No. 3 (2013), pp 237-238. 60 This included the Canada-US Military Cooperation Committees Appendix A, Air Interceptor and Air Warning Plan and the US Air Defense Commands Plan Supremacy. See Joseph Jockel, No Boundaries Upstairs: Canada, the United States, and the Origins of North American Air Defence, 1945-1958 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1987), Chp. 2-3. 61 James Fergusson, Canada and Ballistic Missile Defence 1954-2009: Dj vu All Over Again (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010), pp 82-84. 62 Donald Barry, Canada and Missile Defence: Saying No to Mr. Bush, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies Vol. 12, No. 3 (2010), p 35. 63 See David Bercuson, Canada, NATO, and Rearmament, 1950-1954: Why Canada Made a Difference (But Not For Very Long), in John English and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making a Difference? Canadas Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order (Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1992), pp 103-123. 64 Nahlah Ayed, Why the world wants Obama to win, CBC News, November 1, 2012. Available at



Unlike its trans-Atlantic namesake, SEATO had very weak collective defense commitments, did not negate bilateral commitments or Americas unilateral prerogative, and had little to no institutional structure. Christopher Hemmer and Peter Katzenstein, Why Is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism International Organization Vol. 56, No. 3 (June 2002), pp 578-579. 66 James Manicom, Canadian debates about China's rise: Whither the China threat? Canadian Foreign Policy Journal Vol. 18, No. 2 (2012), p 289. 67 Bruce Gilley, Middle powers during great power transitions: Chinas rise and the future of CanadaUS Relations, International Journal Vol. 66, No. 2 (Spring 2011), pp 259, 261. 68 Brendan Taylor, Japan and Korea: The Limits of Alliance, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy Vol. 54, No. 5 (October-November 2012), pp 93-100. For an opposite perspective, see Peter Beck, A Korea-Japan Alliance, East Asia Forum, June 9, 2011. Available at 69 Victor Cha, Powerplay: Origins of the U.S. Alliance System in Asia, International Security Vol. 34, No. 3 (Winter 2010), p 161. 70 Purendra Jain JapanAustralia Security Ties and the United States: The Evolution of the Trilateral Dialogue Process and its Challenges, Australian Journal of International Affairs Vol. 60, No. 4 (2006), p 524. 71 Hugh White, An Australian-Japan Alliance, Centre of Gravity No. 4 (December 2012), and Thomas Wilkins, Australia and Japan: Allies in the making, East Asia Forum, July 30, 2011. Available at 72 John Garver, Chinas Anti-encirclement struggle, Asian Security Vol. 6, No. 3 (2010), p 254. The core group was quickly dissolved following complaints from China and Europe. 73 Ashok Sherma, A Quadrilateral Initiative: An Evaluation, South Asian Survey Vol. 17, No. 2 (September 2010), p 237. 74 Ramesh Thakur, Japan and Australia: natural allies in the changing Pacific, Japan Times, March 6, 2013. 75 Garver, Chinas Anti-encirclement struggle, p 256. 76 Walter Ladwig III, Delhi's Pacific Ambition: Naval Power, Look East, and India's Emerging Influence in the Asia-Pacific, Asian Security Vol. 5, No. 2 (2009), p 101. 77 Purnendra Jain, Australia plays catch up in India, East Asia Forum, October 23, 2012. Available at 78 Dan Blumethal, Networked Asia, The American Interest, May/June 2011. Available at 79 Blumethal, The U.S. Response, p 322. 80 See James Manicom, Canadas Return to East Asia: Re-engagement through Maritime Diplomacy CIGI Policy Brief, February 2013, pp 1-8. 81 Lee Berthiaume, Military carrying diplomatic torch as Foreign Affairs struggles to stay above water, Ottawa Citizen, 7 Jun 2013, 82 See Manicom, Canadian debates, pp 296-297, and Canadas Return to East Asia, p 4. 83 See Geoffrey Till, Asias Naval Expansion: An arms race in the making? (London: Routledge for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2012). 84 James Boutilier, The Canadian Navy and the new naval environment in Asia, International Journal Vol. 58, No. 1 (Winter 2002-03), p 195. 85 Canada, Royal Canadian Navy, International Exercises: Navy makes history in the Far East. Available at 86 Eric Lerhe, Time for a Canadian Pacific Pivot, Canadian Naval Review Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer 2013), forthcoming. 87 Thomas Adams, Shift to the Pacific: Canadas Security Interests and Maritime Strategy in East Asia, in David McDonough, ed., Canadas National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategic, Interests, and Threats (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), p 170. 88 Adams, Shift to the Pacific, p 168, and James Boutilier, Grey on Grey: The Critical Partnership between the Canadian and U.S. Navies, in Paul Taylor, ed., Perspectives on Maritime Strategy: Essays from the Americas, Newport Paper (Newport: Naval War College Press, 2008), p 114. 89 Elinor Sloan, US-China military and security developments, International Journal Vol. 66, No. 2 (Spring 2011), p 277. 90 Brad Hicks, George Galdorisi, and Scott Truver The Aegis BMD Global Enterprise: A High End Maritime Partnership, Naval War College Review Vol. 65, No. 3 (Summer 2012), pp 73-74. The Japanese Maritime SelfDefense Force operates six Aegis warships, consisting of four Kongo destroyers and two recently commissioned



Atago warships. South Korea has three Aegis destroyers in service and plans to procure six more in the next decade, while Australia plans to procure three Hobarts destroyers fitted with the Aegis combat system. 91 Robbin Laird, The Long Reach of Aegis, Proceedings Magazine, Vol. 138/1/1307 (January 2012). Available at 92 Nicholas Tracy, A Two-Edged Sword: The Navy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2012), p 171. 93 Ken Hansen, Logistics: Is it central or peripheral to operations? Broadsides Forum, December 30, 2012, Available at 94 Eric Lerhe, The National Shipbuildiung Procurement Strategy: An Update, Strategic Studies Working Group Paper (February 2013). Available at 95 Allan English, Outside CF Transformation Looking In, Canadian Military Journal Vol. 11, No. 2 (Spring 2011): 14. For example, Canadas Army benefited significantly from personnel increases and capital acquisitions that arose from operational requirements of fighting the Afghan campaign and/or were geared towards troop mobility, including Leopard tanks, Chinook helicopters, Globemaster strategic-lift aircraft, and tactical airlifters. 96 Eric Lerhe, Getting the Capital and Personnel Mix Right: Implications for the Future of the Canadian Navy, in Ann Griffiths and Eric Lerhe, eds., Naval Gazing: The Canadian Navy Contemplates Its Future (Halifax: Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, 2010), pp 75-77. The author suggests a capital-to-personnel ratio of 24:39 rather than the envisioned 12:51, which could be done by a combination of infrastructure and personnel reductions.