Following the Americans to the Persian Gulf: Canada, Australia, and the Development of the New World Order

Following the Americans to the Persian Gulf: Canada, Australia, and the Development of the New World Order

Following the Americans to the Persian Gulf: Canada, Australia, and the Development of the New World Order

Following the Americans to the Persian Gulf: Canada, Australia, and the Development of the New World Order

Synopsis

"This book is a detailed analysis of foreign policy formulation in Canada and Australia. It utilizes the Gulf crisis as a case study and vehicle for comparing these two geographically distant but politically similar middle-powers. The time span considered is from August 1990 to January 1991 - that is, from the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to the commencement of Operation Desert Storm. Many intriguing issues and questions are considered in this study. What are the official avenues by which Canada and Australia ostensibly develop their foreign policy? How much influence does any one group or nation have on this process? How wedded are the decisions made in the two countries to the special interests of other countries? How aware are Australian and Canadian citizens of the critical process of foreign policy formulation and the pressures that bend the process in one direction or another? How eager are the leaders and statesmen of the two countries to have unofficial influences and connections made known? Ronnie Miller here examines different facets of the foreign policy decision-making procedure - which range from historical precedent within each country and political personalities and personal ties to public response and activism. The Canadian and Australian policy-making process is explored within the context of unfolding international events. The global commitments and behaviors of the two countries are understood as being influenced by numerous internal and external tides and eddies - many of long-standing nature, some new and startling. By comparing the directions the two nations took when confronted by the "crisis in the Gulf," Miller helps readers to more fully appreciate the complexity and subtlety of foreign policy formulation and global politics in general. The foreign policy political landscape of each country and the forces that shape it are highlighted when seen against the backdrop of escalating domestic difficulties, nasty political jealousies and competitions, and international events that can only be described as seismic in intensity. The political topography is buckling and bending in the face of such international "earthquakes": the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the emergence of a new world order, the rise of new, hungry, international economic forces, and America's uphill struggle to retain its preeminence. How Canada and Australia are attempting to withstand and temper these forces - and, in fact, benefit from them through practical and canny foreign policy machinations - is the substance of this book." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 I was on a short trip to Perth, Australia. My impression of Australian public response to the invasion was twofold: that the vast majority were indifferent, and that most others did not perceive it to be a major event. Apparently, two warring Arab nations was not a source of concern to the Australian people, Several days later, upon my return to Canada, I was struck by the similarly mild response of the Canadian public to the then regional Arab conflict. As time passed this regional conflict became, as we all know, a global crisis of massive proportion. Suddenly, Canadian and Australian political decision makers were required to respond to escalating international events and pressures. The rapid transformation of this conflict from a regional confrontation into a global crisis generated in me the idea of a comparison of the formal Canadian and Australian policy vis-à-vis the Gulf crisis and the reasons for it.; This comparison is the focus of this book.

It is important to realize that during the Gulf crisis the formulation of Canadian and Australian Middle East policy was not solely, or even primarily, in the hands of the respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The ministers of Foreign Affairs were directed and overshadowed by many other important players, notably, as one would expect, the Prime Minister. This book examines the keyplayers in the formulation of Canadian and Australian policy vis- à-vis the Gulf crisis and the considerations which influenced them. My findings reveal remarkable similarities in the Canadian and Australian political scene.

One of the questions consistently raised by the general public of both countries, as well as by many parliamentarians, was who had the authority to set policy regarding the Gulf crisis. Was it the Department of External Affairs, the Prime Minister's Office, the Cabinet, or the Parliament? This book examines the tensions, power-plays, and political manipulations that occurred as each of these important political institutions maneuvered to direct the official response to the Gulf crisis. The key issue to be decided was the participation, and nature of the participation, of Cana-

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