By TONY SEED
This article is part of an ongoing investigation into the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF), which was formed in 2009 as a covert arm of the U.S. state that presents itself as an “independent” and “non-partisan” body with quasi-permanent status. It was originally published on November 21, 2013 and revised on April 15, 2014; November 17 and 21, 2014; February 17, 2016; and February 28, 2021.
Topics at the 2014 HISF Forum include: “Pipeline Corridors: The Geopolical Role of Energy Infrastructure.” Given that one of the opening plenary sessions is titled “O Say, Can’t You see? The Indispensable Role of the Exceptional Superpower,” one must ask, what is behind this?
THE Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) aka the Halifax War Conference was formed in 2009 by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund and the Harper ruling clique as a parallel body to established agencies of the Canadian state such as the departments of foreign affairs and national defence. The U.S. board of directors of the HISF includes three members of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), the president of Freedom House, and two experienced agents with the National Endowment for Democracy, whose work in subversion throughout the world is nefarious and well-documented. The programmatic work of the CFR, which is also the “media partner” of the HISF, for the integration of Canada into the United States, has also been well exposed.
In 2007, the organizers of the Halifax forum were involved in initiating the Kiev Security Forum, co-sponsored by Arseny Yatsenyuk’s Open Ukraine Foundation. It w as as an instrument for the subversion of Ukraine with the known results: a previously obscure politician and banker was brought to power in February 2014 through a coup d’état, in which he was installed as prime minister of Ukraine. (See “About the Princeton Project on National Security (2004-06)” below.)
This signifies that the HISF can no longer be viewed solely s a platform for war criminals, or militarism, or from the implications of its warmongering agenda for the Middle East, Europe and the NATO bloc, or from localist concerns, to the exclusion of the danger posed by subversion and nation wrecking of Canada – and other countries.
“Halifax Canada Club” – “a new public-private partnership”
One of the unstated aims of the HISF organizers is the direct mobilization of monopolies in Canada and their integration into the drive of the U.S. Empire for war and domination, a Union of North American Monopolies. This includes their ultimate integration into the foreign policy, military and security establishment of the state behind the backs of the Canadian people as a component part of the annexation of Canada. Along with the HISF itself, one of the instruments of this drive is the formation of the “Halifax Canada Cub” – a fifth column in the making. Whether it can actually be organized or not in this form remains to be seen. The resistance of the Canadian people and the political demand for an anti-war government cannot be easily dismissed.
According to a release issued in August 2013 by the HISF from its Washington, DC headquarters, the “Halifax Canada Club” formed in 2012 is “a new public-private partnership” between the HISF, the Harper Government and MEG Energy Inc. of Calgary, a foreign-owned oil company specializing in the Alberta oil sands. Its stated aim is to “ensure that world leaders continue their work toward mutual understanding and joint action at the annual Halifax International Security Forum.”
At present, the richest monopolies involved in war production, the arms trade and the security field are already either “partners” or participants in the HISF as delegates. These include General Dynamic, Lockheed Martin, Hill and Knowlton, and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Nevertheless, the HISF has failed to attract and penetrate the ranks of corporate executives in any way comparable to that achieved by the military associations formed in Canada coming out of World War I and II.
This agency has as its stated aim to involve corporate executives from across Canada in a new organized form. According to the release, “The Halifax Canada Club will be extending membership invitations to other prominent Canadian and international companies and individuals who are respected leaders in their fields committed to international peace and security.” [emphasis added] What they are preparing is not discussed. But the release adds, “This new body gives the private sector an opportunity to participate alongside government in the unique and valuable discussions that take place at the Forum, and to help foster debate on leading international topics including energy security, democratic institution building, and defense relations.”
The release claims “the HISF brings together leaders from Canada, the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have called Halifax International Security Forum the place to get things done.” [emphasis added]
The release also noted, “Every November since 2009, leaders of the world’s democracies have gathered in Halifax, Nova Scotia for an invitation-only weekend to share ideas for strengthening security and expanding opportunities for the citizens of their countries.” [emphasis added]
Thus, the exclusive participation in “unique and valuable discussions” and “debate on leading international topics including energy security, democratic institution building, and defense relations” is to be based on the acceptance of select “membership invitations to other prominent Canadian and international companies and individuals” in “an invitation-only weekend.”
Despite such significant discussions on the future of our country and other countries, no representatives of the First Nations or workers’ organizations are invited to speak about the concerns of the peoples. This alone reveals the complete lack of legitimacy of the direction being taken by the Harper and Obama governments.
MEG Energy Inc.
MEG Energy Inc. is a 89.1 per cent foreign-, mainly-U.S. owned oil monopoly seeking to make the big score from the plunder of the Alberta oil sands (the Christina Lake oil sands, about 60 km north of Ft. McMurray), including the Northern Gateway pipeline to export oil to China (which has a 14.8 per cent stake in MEG) and the Keystone XL pipeline to carry raw bitumen south to the U.S. empire. Both pipelines are facing fierce opposition from Canadians. Its 2012 output is estimated at “just above 28,000 barrels a day, with plans to increase that nearly 10-fold by 2020. It has acquired land that contains over 2 billion barrels of reserves, so it possesses enough oil to be significant.”
Formed just 11 years ago, MEG is closely connected to the Conservative Party, which champions the interests of the oil and gas monopolies. The late Peter Lougheed, Premier of Alberta from 1971 to 1985 and co-chair of the free trade lobby when the Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1988, was a member of its board.
A major shareholder (24 per cent) in MEG is Warburg Pincus LLP, a U.S.-based investment firm that manages over $30-billion in private-equity assets globally. In the past two years, New York’s Warburg Pincus has invested in five other Canadian energy companies: Black Swan Energy, Canbriam Energy, Endurance Energy, Osum Oil Sands and Velvet Energy.
The state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) owns 14.8 per cent of MEG, purchased in April 2005. (Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline aims to connect Chinese-owned oil sands production in Northern Alberta with refineries in China via the pipeline and oil tankers through Kitimat, BC.) CNOC has one seat on MEG’s board of directors. [i]
This initiative to form such a “club” is in conformity with traditional cold war strategies elaborated by the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. sponsor of the HISF, of “forming elite regional opinion” and elite networks as a component part of subverting countries by the United States, and more recently codified by the Princeton Project on National Security (2004-06) (see appendix below). The HISF, initiated by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund in 2009, was the first such U.S. instrument floated in this country. Now it is tying to spawn another. The president of the German Marshall Fund, Craig Kennedy of Chicago, the base of Barrack Obama, was a principal participant in the Princeton Project. Anne-Marie Slaughter, co-director of the Princeton Project, director of the CIA-linked Woodrow Wilson Center and CFR member, was a featured speaker at the HISF in 2011 and 2012. The main theses of the Princeton Report formed part and parcel of the Obama presidential agenda.
Energy as a weapon; nation wrecking
The involvement of MEG in HISF disinformation and nation wrecking expands the economic base of the Halifax War Conference from the armaments, military and security cartels and associated foreign policy think tanks to include the oil and gas cartel. The implications that the events in the Middle East and Eurasia and major upheavals in oil and gas markets will have on “energy security” and oil supplies to the U.S. empire and the use of energy as a weapon against its imperialist rivals are also being brought to the table of the Halifax Conference.
The sudden emergence of MEG Energy Inc. as a major player at the 2012 HISF coincided with the presence of Alberta Conservative premier Alison Redford as a featured speaker at the same HISF. Her appearance was unprecedented; hitherto, no provincial premier had been accorded such a dubious “honour.”
Redford delivered “opening remarks” at “Plenary 6: North America Off Foreign Oil and its Impacts Everywhere Else.” She was joined on the panel by Fabrice Pothier, Head of Policy Planning, NATO, and John Barrasso, Junior Republican Senator [Wyoming], United States. The moderator was Tom Clark, Chief Political Correspondent, Global National News. The panel was closed; there is no transcript.
Barrasso, a millionaire orthopaedic surgeon who appeared at the HISF for the first time, represents U.S. oil monopolies. In addition to advocating war on Iran, Barrasso is a proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline. He voted in favour of big oil companies on 100 per cent of important oil-related bills, according to Oil Change International. The bills include Iraq War funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and oil import reductions. Barrasso received $136,400 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $110,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. These numbers made Barrasso one of the top recipients of oil and coal money in the U.S. Senate. He is closely linked to the warmonger Sen. John McCain, and accompanied him to Georgia in January, 2010 when then president Saakashvili made McCain a “Hero of Georgia”; McCain was an organizer of the illegal coup d’état “Rose Revolution” in 2003 through his International Republican Institute and was famous for his war cry, “We are all Georgians,” during that country’s invasion of Ossetia in August, 2008. Barrasso is listed as a participant in the forthcoming 2014 HISF.
For her part, Redford was visiting the Maritimes to negotiate with the Irving oil monopoly and New Brunswick premier David Alward for the TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $12-billion Energy East Pipeline. The 4,500-kilometre line would ship Alberta crude from a terminal southeast of Edmonton across the Prairies into Ontario, then up to refineries in Montreal and near Quebec City, and maritime terminals in Quebec City and Saint John, New Brunswick. It has a planned capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day.
In terms of export, the project includes the construction of a pipeline port in Cacouna, Quebec at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to export crude oil via supertankers. It would end at the Irving refinery at the deepwater port in Saint John, adjacent to the Irving-Repsol LNG (liquified gas) terminal. Far from being “a nation building project,” it is simply a means to exploit the assets of the nation to find new markets for the oil monopolies.
This has geo-strategic importance. The Maritimes and the U.S. state of Maine (the separate DownEast pipeline) are seen as mere transit regions for exporting energy to Europe, specifically Germany and Ukraine. LNG exports from fracking could be ultimately used to shake Russia’s strong position on the European gas market. In April, 2013 the proposed LNG project for Goldboro, a harbour on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, signed a multi-year contract with Germany during a trade visit led by Harper to that country.
Taking into account Fortress America or Fortress North America, the security perimeter agreement, part of the SPP agreement (Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement of North America), their program is a union of North American monopolies in which all the working class and the resources of Canada and Mexico are annexed by the USA so as to compete more effectively with Europe for the domination of Asia.
This conforms with the strategic aim of the Harper ruling clique: to ensure that Canadian oil and gas production and export aligns with the plans of the U.S. and NATO, in which energy is viewed as a geopolitical weapon. The main obstacle is the Canadian people. This necessitates strengthening their front against popular resistance to the energy monopolies’ unconstrained exploitation of the oil sands and other petroleum and energy resources, of which Alberta is one centre of opposition.
Agent Hall, Obama’s new agent for “democracy promotion” in Canada
Recruitment to the Halifax Canada Club is by invitation. It is to be organized directly from Washington by Joseph Hall, vice-president of the HISF. Whether or not that includes executive control of the Halifax Canada Club is not revealed.
Joseph Hall is an experienced and veteran agent in subversion for the U.S. state for the past 17 years. Hall was Middle East and North Africa senior advisor for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and senior director, NDI, Lebanon. The NDI is a “democracy promotion” and regime change organization funded by the US government through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to his profile, Hall has the luxury of one home in the mountains of Lebanon and another in the United States.
The HISF website publicly crows that, “Mr. Hall opened the first NDI office in Cairo in 2005 and had the privilege to be in Cairo in January and February of 2011.” (emphasis added).
According to Philip Girardi, a former CIA official, Hall was handpicked to link US funding with the opposition that they were feverishly striving to manipulate in Egypt during the 2011 “Arab Spring.” The ever-zealous organizers of the Halifax International Security Forum were apparently very proud of themselves for having one of its key personnel involved in regime change.
Furthermore, a Canadian Press report profiling instances of the involvement of Canadians in fomenting the “pro-democracy” “Arab Spring” inadvertently added more details to that information, and revealed a more suspicious operation than that admitted by the HISF. The CP reported in late February, 2011 that HISF president Peter Van Praagh had also been deployed from Washington to Egypt “to begin work with opposition politicians there on behalf of the National Democratic Institute.” [i] Van Praagh is former resident NDI director in Turkey (and responsible for the Caucusus) and board member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) at the same time Hall was resident director for Lebanon.
By February 2011, NDI had opened additional offices in Alexandria and Assauit. Former CIA official Girardi relates that, “Madeleine Albright, the head of NDI, who once said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to sanctions were worth it, stated on 3 February 2011 that the NED was already active in Egypt to influence the post-Mubarak era.” [ii] Washington spent tens of millions of dollars promoting activities hostile to Egypt, trying to create focal points of influence in the name of dissidence.
Hall, in fact, had directed the NDI Cairo office in January-February, 2011. In April 2011, the NDI reported that “it had received a two-year grant totalling $14 million to assist democratic reform efforts in Egypt.” [iii] The funds were provided by the US State Department and USAID.
Following raids in December 2011 on 17 foreign and Egyptian NGOs for meddling in internal affairs, Cairo put NED operatives, including the son of the US Secretary of Transportation, on a “no fly” list. It announced it would prosecute a number of individuals, including 19 Americans and the NDI director for Egypt – that is, the immediate boss of both Hall and Van Praagh – for engaging in illegal activities. This action by Egypt was qualified as catastrophic by the USA. The US citizens charged were from the payroll of three organisations: The International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Freedom House, whose president David Kramer was also a board member of the HISF. It seems that by this time Messrs Hall and his buddy Van Praagh “had the privilege” to get out of Dodge in the nick of time.
Joseph Hall had previously succeeded Van Praagh as NDI resident director in Turkey a decade ago. [v]
The organized recruitment of selected corporate executives and Canadian personalities is an activity far removed from the accepted functions of the secretariat of an annual policy conference. The formation of the “Halifax Canada Cub” also directly bypasses long-standing agencies of the Canadian establishment such as the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, the Atlantic Council of Canada and the United Nations Association. To this end, the HISF has recruited two Canadian NATO academics (two!) to participate in its “Agenda Working Group” that formulates the priorities the forthcoming conference: Janice Gross Stein of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, [vi] and Roland Paris of the University of Ottawa. [vii]
What is astounding is not just the sheer audacity of this maneouvre but that such bodies, as with the Liberal and NDP parties who are both now directly participating in the Halifax War Conference, are silent on this 5th column activity in violation of Canadian sovereignty. It suggests that the warmongering agenda of the Halifax War Conference includes nation-wrecking and the usurping of decision-making in the sphere of foreign and military policy of Canada, based on eliminating the opposition and resistance of the workers and peoples including the Indigenous Peoples to the unrestrained annexation and plunder of our land, labour and resources.
There is broad opposition across North America from many organizations of the peoples to fracking, oil and natural gas pipelines and generally the dictate of private interests against the will of the people. The rights of the people to safe and clean water and air, protection for the natural environment and energy production that is mutually beneficial and meets their needs are on their agenda.
[i] Andrew Willis, “MEG Energy launches massive IPO,” The Globe and Mail, Monday, 14 June 2010
[v] As a good instructor of what clearly constitutes intelligence operations in the name of fostering the “civic” and “open society,” Joseph Hall, according to the HISF website, also “provided strategic advice to civic organizations and political parties throughout the Middle East, West Africa and the former Soviet Union.”
Hall specialized in spearheading U.S. intervention in elections in Azerbaijan; Palestine (the West Bank, 2004) and Gaza (2005); Sierra Leone; Egypt; and in Lebanon (2006) with the unsuccessful aim of removing the national resistance movement Hezbollah from the Lebanese parliament under the anti-Syrian and transparency slogans. His biography fails to mention that the NDI office in Beirut, of which he was resident director, was in charge of mounting programs inside Syria.
These initiatives fit the geographic context of what George W. Bush proclaimed after 2001 as his Greater Middle East Project (more recently redubbed the milder-sounding “New Middle East”) to bring U.S. “democracy” and the “liberal free market” to the Islamic countries from Afghanistan to Morocco, of which Hall was one of the designated pro-consuls.
In 2012, he donated $500 to Obama for America.
[vi] Janice Gross Stein, Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the Munk Centre for International Studies (serving from 1998 to the end of 2014) and Belzberg professor of conflict management at the University of Toronto, is a state and NATO academic.
Stein is closely linked to the Liberal Party, being a senior fellow of the Trudeau Foundation and involved in that party’s foreign policy review in the early 1990s. She is a Board Member of the monopoly-funded Canadian International Council (CIC), also linked to that party and the Centre for International Policy Studies, of which Roland Paris (see next footnote) is founding director. The CIC is also based at the Munk School. The Chretien Liberals appointed Stein to be Chair of the Security & Defence Forum Selection Committee of the Department of National Defence until 2000 (replaced by Dr Kim Nossal, McMaster University). This agency allocates annual grants to 12 military and strategic studies think tanks and centres at universities and other institutes (e.g., MacKenzie Institute, Centre for Conflict Studies, Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie) in the range of $200,000. According to Wikipedia, “Stein regularly lectures on conflict management at home and abroad, at venues such as the Centre for National Security Studies in Ottawa and at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Stein]
Stein is a straightforward apologist for Canada’s involvement in the US-NATO war against Afghanistan and the occupation of that country, which continues to date. The Canadian Donner Foundation, a subsidiary of the U.S. William H. Donner Foundation, awarded $35,000 in its annual book prize for The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar (Viking: 2007), co-written with Eugene Lang, a former chief of staff to two ministers of national defence.
The Canadian Donner Foundation is a significant foreign funder of the afore-mentioned strategic and foreign policy studies centres in Canadian universities. From 1969 through 1989, the American foundation spent $12 million creating foreign-policy think tanks in Canada, according to an article by Gerald Wright, its former vice-president from 1972-1987, in Policy Options. “The infrastructure gap was a primary concern of the Donner Canadian Foundation, which made Canadian foreign policy one of its four fields of activity in 1969.” Wright, former president of the Atlantic Council of Canada (a NATO agency), vice-chairman of the Atlantic Treaty Association, and currently a senior fellow of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, where he teaches courses on U.S. foreign policy and Asia, is a fellow board member of the Canadian International Council with Stein, who is also a member of the Atlantic Council. His career also illustrates the revolving door between U.S. agencies, the military and the network of think tanks and the university. From 1987 to 2002 he worked for the Government of Canada, including periods as special advisor to the Secretary of State for External Affairs and senior policy advisor to the Minister for International Trade. He became general manager of the National Electricity Round Table in 2002 and retired from that position in early 2008.
Stein is extensively used by the state media such as CBC and TV Ontario (TVO) for disinformation; the media keep her military links secret from the viewing public and deceptively portray her as a disinterested academic and expert. She is a regular panelist on the Steve Paikin “The Agenda” program on TVO.
For its part, the Munk School is a principal centre for the development of social media tools known as “digital diplomacy” or cyberwarfare to subvert sovereign governments that Washington deems hostile to its interests (See here and here). The website munkoutofuoft.wordpress.com provides the following anecdote to illustrate “the collusion between the Munk school and politicians in charge of Canada’s foreign policy”:
“In January this year (2015) students at the Munk School of Global Affairs received a rather curious e-mail from a school administrator. The message informed students of an upcoming event that the school’s founding director and professor, Janice Stein, was strongly encouraging everyone to attend, but provided minimal details about the event itself. When students showed up on January 6 at this event, they found themselves at a press conference with then-foreign affairs minister John Baird. ‘Look at how many students voluntarily came to see you,’ Stein told Baird in her opening address according to Munk school students. At the press conference, Baird announced $9 million in government funding for the ‘Digital Public Square Project’, an open and secure digital space to be made available to citizens of ‘oppressive and authoritarian regimes’. According to Stein, the project built on an earlier Munk School initiative—the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran—which established platforms and tools that reached over 4.5 million unique users inside Iran. ‘We will learn what citizens want most and share that knowledge,” said Stein at the press conference.
“Fast forward a few months, and Iran is on the verge of a diplomatic deal with the United States that would reshape its relationship to most of the western world. Decades of economic sanctions would be lifted in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear capability and imposing strict international monitoring on their nuclear program. In response, the Munk School, and their ‘Digital Democracy’ program had, until recently, been notably silent. The school finally broke its silence on May 26, when lecturer and senior research fellow, Mark Dubowitz, argued against the motion that ‘that Obama’s Iran Deal is Good for America’, and by a small margin, won. Dubowitz, dubbed by Ynet, Israel’s largest English language news website, as ‘The Man Who Fights Iran’, is also the executive director of a United States based think-tank that specializes in sanctions against Iran. Regardless of your take on whether the Iran deal was good for America, these talks and the subsequent deal are no doubt the most significant foreign policy achievement in Iranian recent history. Also, these talks have been overwhelming supported by the citizens of Iran, who welcome the end of the crippling sanctions. Why, then, is the Munk School, which received a boost of $9 million to speak directly with the citizens of Iran, so silent?” (Sakura Saunders, “The Munk School’s Foreign Policy Agenda is showing,” September 9, 2015)
Stein is as a hardcore Zionist as is the Munk School a centre for the defence of Israel. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Jerusalem in Israel on November 21, 2011 “in recognition of her outstanding achievements in international relations research, and in tribute to her unwavering devotion to Israel and the Hebrew University” [emphasis added]:
“Throughout her career, Janice Gross Stein has taken the closest interest in the advancement of the Hebrew University. Immediately following the Yom Kippur War, she came to Jerusalem to teach and since then she has frequently returned as a guest lecturer. Professor Gross Stein was a guiding force in the establishment of the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies at the Hebrew University and she chairs several committees at the University of Toronto that promote collaborative ties between the two institutions, including the Halbert Foundation’s faculty exchange program.”
Stein’s bigotry was clearly revealed when she was used by the CBC TV “Newsworld” program in a provocation against former US president Jimmy Carter broadcast on December 8, 2006. The topic was his new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In it, Carter puts the blame on a minority of Israeli leaders who insist on occupying Palestinian lands, in violation of half a dozen treaties. He argues that ordinary Israeli citizens are not the problem; they want to negotiate a fair settlement. Among other things, Carter stated during the interview, “When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.” Carter said his new book was meant to spark discussion of Israeli policies. Newsworld then brought on Stein, who was waiting in the wings. Virtually foaming at the mouth like an attack dog, Stein launched a vicious personal or ad hominen attack on the character of the 82-year-old former Nobel Prize winner, calling him insane to have such views, without refuting any of his views. The diatribe prompted the Carter Peace Center in Atlanta to issue a statement asserting that the ex-president had been “set up” by the CBC.
Stein openly supported the dismantling of Canada’s International Development Agency to merge with the Department of Foreign Affairs (becoming Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Development), being quoted in several articles and writing an editorial in the Globe and Mail supporting the move. This merger was part of a shift in CIDA to start supporting Corporate for Social Responsibility projects for mining companies abroad, including Barrick Gold. The U of T website munkoutofuoft.wordpress.com documents the close links between the Munk School and the mining industry, especially Barrick Gold. Peter Munk, the founder and chairman of gold mining giant Barrick Gold, funded the centre which bears his name.
In December 2013, former U of T president David Naylor was named to the Barrick Gold board of directors. On March 25, 2015, John Baird, who had suddenly resigned as Harper’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on March 16, was hired by Barrick to sit on its International Advisory Board. Baird’s compensation was not announced but former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the chair of Barrick’s international board, makes about $1 million a year (See George Allen, “John Baird continues his work for the monopolies,” April 7, 2015). When Peter Munk was asked why he named Mulroney to sit on his board of directors, he famously responded, “he knows every dictator in the world on a first-name basis.” Former US President and CIA director George Bush Sr. was former chairman of the International Advisory Board, a post likely connected to the honorary degree he received from the University of Toronto in 1997. Other board members have included Gustavo Ciscneros, a Venezuelan media mogul implicated in the coup attempt against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi arms dealer and known conduit in the Iran-Contra Scandal, was one of Barrick’s first major financiers.
[vii] Roland Paris is a state and NATO academic, University Research Chair in International Security and Governance at the University of Ottawa, founding Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies, and Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Before joining the University of Ottawa in 2006, he was Director of Research at the Conference Board of Canada, the country’s largest think tank; foreign policy advisor in the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Privy Council Office of the Canadian government. In 2014, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization appointed him to a ten-member international panel of experts to advise on the future of NATO. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
Paris is a Liberal warmonger and annexationist: In a 2012 article for Postmedia News, he argued “The case for armed drones in Canada” (August 31, 2012). “With drones considered powerful weapons in coalition warfare, Ottawa is reportedly considering purchasing them for the Canadian Forces.” He is a tout of the use of social media tools for subversion and espionage (see here and here): he authored an article hailing the initiative of the Munk School targeted at Iran.
He has been replaced on the 2014 Agenda Working Group by Dr. Ian Brodie, who worked for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for six years, including three years as his chief of staff and two years as executive director of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Postscript. In November, 2005 Paris was appointed Justin Trudeau’s senior foreign policy advisor. A more complete and uptodate treatment of his views can be seen here.
About the Princeton Project on National Security (2004-06)
The HISF was inaugurated in November 2009 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS), based in Washington, as a covert weapon of the U.S. state during the first year of the Barrack Obama presidency and the launching of the new “Strategic Doctrine” of the NATO military bloc.
One of the chief reasons behind establishing such a centre was to escalate the combat of “anti-Americanism,” whose casualties included the Bush agenda of unilaterialism, pre-emptive war.
The mechanisms included the formation of a “coalition of centrists” based on the imperialist tenets of humanitarian or liberal interventionism – as, for instance, concentrated in the Princeton Project on National Security (2004-2006). This project was funded in part by the GMFUS and described as “a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States.”
It was launched at an event on Capitol Hill sponsored by the New America Foundation, presided over by Obama’s new Secretary of Defense, Senator Charles (Chuck) Hagel, a Republican, and Democrat Senator Joe Biden, now vice-president.
Further recommendations aimed to re-organize and intensify the onslaught of disinformation abroad (called public diplomacy), to establish new international networks as instruments of political and psychological warfare and new forms of subversion. That the targets for these operations included “allies” of the United States should come as no surprise, given the recent revelations of espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency in France and Germany, etc.
Three specific aims – securing the homeland against hostile attacks or fatal epidemics; building a healthy global economy, “which is essential for our own prosperity and security”; and constructing “a benign international environment” grounded in “security cooperation among nations” and the spread of liberal democracy – should constitute Washington’s basic objectives, according to the Report.
The main theses of the Princeton Report formed part and parcel of the Obama presidential agenda.
The recommended techniques were overtly based on those set up following World War II to “contain” communism and the freedom struggles, which launched the Cold War. One of the principal weapons by which American imperial interests are to be realized is through the mechanism of centrally directed and controlled global networks:
“We should establish and institutionalize networks of national, regional, and local government officials and nongovernmental representatives to create numerous channels for [democratic] nations and others to work on common problems and to communicate and inculcate the values and practices that safeguard liberty under law”. [Final Report, p.7.]
“The aim is to intersect “international institutions and domestic governments… institutions providing incentives and pressure to help conquer dysfunctional levels of corruption and bolster the rule of law…” [99 Final Report, p.23.]
These were not left to chance. Within a short period, the GMFUS convened strategic conferences at the NATO Summits in Istanbul, Riga and Bucharest as well as the Brussels Forums on NATO’s new “security doctrine.” In 2007, the GMFUS’s Balkan Trust, funded by USAID and the Mott Foundation (named after a co-founder of General Motors), launched the Kiev Security Forum, operating through the Open Ukraine Foundation of Andrei Yatsenyuk, hitherto an obscure central banker and politician. It aimed to consolidate “elite opinion” around Atlanticism and NATO during a period of rising anti-NATO public opinion and protests in Ukraine against the “visits” of US warships to Black Sea ports in Odessa and Crimea, and formed the platform to groom Yatsenyuk for power. Speakers at the 2007 forum included U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. Yatsenyhuk was subsequently installed as prime minister following the February 2014 coup d’état according to the U.S. recipe for regime change. Two weeks earlier, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nulands had famously declared “Yats is our man.”
Following the Strasbourg/Kehl NATO Summit, the GMFUS launched the Halifax International Security Forum from Washington, DC in November, 2009. The same core individuals behind the Kiev Security Forum turned up in Halifax: Peter Van Praagh, head of the Balkan Trust, the principal organizer on behalf of the GMFUS, was subsequently appointed president of the HISF in 2010. He was joined by his colleague, David Kramer, a Cold War Sovietologist and specialist on the Ukraine, who was appointed secretary of the board of directors. Kramer was a political appointment in the Bush administration in the Condolezza Rice-led State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs from July 2005 to March of 2008. Wikileaks released many classified cables from the U.S. embassy in Kiev that document his involvement in Ukraine, the question of opposition to NATO and the political prospects of Yatsenyuk. Kramer was then promoted to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2008-09). After the electoral victory of Barack Obama, he was appointed a senior transatlantic fellow at the GMFUS. In October 2010 Kramer was appointed president of Freedom House, a so-called NGO. Funded 66 per cent by the U.S. State Dept., it is staffed by neoconservatives, connected to the CIA and dedicated to “containing communism,” and infamous for its clandestine support to subvert countries like Cuba, Iran and Haiti. (During this period Baird’s Department of Foreign Affairs began awarding grants to Freedom House in New York for “democracy promotion.”)
Halifax, along with being the headquarters of Maritime Command, the most militarized city in Canada and the principal U.S.-NATO port on the North Atlantic, was the scene of large scale popular demonstrations against the war against Iraq in the 2002-03 period, on the occasion of the “visit” of U.S. President George W. Bush on December 1, 2004 when over 7,000 people demanded he get out of Canada, and against two ensuing “visits” by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
The HISF was financed by Canadian taxdollars supplied by the Department of National Defence and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – at the time Peter MacKay from Pictou, Nova Scotia was chief minister for both agencies in the Harper government – and falsely presented as a uniquely Canadian initiative by the regional and national media. The initial grant for the 2009 forum was $3 million. Van Praagh, who has dual American-Canadian citizenship, served as MacKay’s foreign policy advisor from 2005-06.
Anne Marie Slaughter, co-director of the Princeton Project of National Security, and now head of the CIA-linked Wilson Center in Washington, attended and spoke at the HISF in 2011 and 2012. She is also a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations, media sponsor of the HISF.
Jim Lobe, “Elite Project Proposes Bipartisan Grand Strategy,” Inter Press Service News Agency, September 27, 2006.
Members of Halifax Canada Club (as of November 2015)
“The path to finding solutions to complex issues requires time, dedication and a broad dialogue and sharing of knowledge. MEG Energy is proud to be the founding private sector partner of the Halifax Canada Club that is intended to support that initiative.”
“For more than 65 years, ATCO has provided military support services, shelter solutions, logistics and utility services worldwide. As a company built upon the belief that strong partnerships form the basis of safe and prosperous communities, ATCO supports the collaborative vision of the Halifax Canada Club.”
“With the vision to add sustainable values to the lives it touches, Çalık Holding supports collaborative efforts of Halifax Canada Club towards global prosperity.” Çalık Holding AS, a Turkish monopoly based in Istanbul, carries out its operations in energy, construction and real estate, mining, textile, telecom and finance sectors in a region extending from Central Asia to North Africa and from Middle East to the Balkans. Through its ventures in and outside of Turkey, Çalık employs around 20,000 people (December 2008). The CEO of Çalık Holding, Berat Albayrak, is the son-in-law of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In November 2015, Ahmet Taçyildiz, Chairman of Gap Insaat, one of the leading companies of Çalık Holding, personally attended the HISF, whose major theme in the immediate aftermath of the Paris terrorist attack was fear mongering on the “War against ISIS.” He was publicly introduced and thanked by Van Praagh during the opening session of the Halifax Conference in the same breath as Trudeau’s defence minister, Harjit Sajjan, whose department provides the main funding of almost $3 million annually and who also was prominent in the conference. At the same time, Berat Albayrak, the HISF’s new partner, was appointed Turkey’s energy and natural resource minister by Prime Minister Davutoglu after the Turkish general elections on November 1, 2015. It was reported that over 120 oil tankers destroyed in Russian airstrikes during November belonged to the Turkish Bayrak Company owned by Berat Albayrak. Further, Bilal Erdoğan, a son of the Turkish president, has been implicated in the illegal oil smuggling business with ISIS in Iraq. Bilal Erdogan is one of the three equal shareholders of BMZ Group Denizcilik, a marine transportation corporation. “Turkish Socialist party member Gursel Tekin has established that Daesh’s smuggled oil is exported to Turkey by BMZ.”
Source: Members of Halifax Canada Club
2015 Partners of the HISF
For more information about HISF Partners and Supporting Organizations, please click here.