Canada seeks expanded military role in Asia-Pacific

Picket and signature collection, November 23, 2017, at the University Skytrain station in Vancouver. More than 2,500 Canadians thus far have signed the Canadian Petition Against War and Aggression on the Korean Peninsula.

While Canada claims it is for diplomacy and solidarity, it is not well known that the Canadian military has joined the massive annual U.S.-Republic of Korea joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle in the spring and Ulchi-Freedom Guardian in August as well as others, all aimed at provoking the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) into a war on the Korean Peninsula. In September 2017, after participating in joint naval manoeuvres with the U.S., south Korean and Japanese military, HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Winnipeg docked at the U.S. naval base on Jeju Island which the people are fighting to demilitarize.

As well as threatening the Korean and world’s people into submitting to U.S. imperialist control of the Korean Peninsula, this is part and parcel of the Trudeau government’s aim to boost Canada’s “expeditionary” military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, a geopolitical tinderbox where the rivalries between the U.S. drive for domination of the South China Sea and China’s increasing ambitions and role in the region are being played out.

On September 7 in Victoria, Canada played host to the U.S. Pacific Command Chiefs of Defense Staff Conference bringing together U.S.-allied Chiefs of Defense Staff in Canada under the rubric of the U.S. Pacific Command.

In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took things further during his trip to Asia for meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), where he sought to place Canada at the table of the East Asia Summit for discussions with its members about “the threat from the DPRK.”

The strategy to increase Canada’s military role in the Asia-Pacific is being implemented at the same time as the Shinzo Abe government is reviving Japanese militarism. This is the same Japan which refuses to take responsibility for its historic crimes against the peoples of Asia, including Korea. By promoting the lie that the DPRK is a threat to Asia which needs to be contained and participating in military exercises alongside Japan and the U.S., Canada is objectively supporting this revival of Japanese militarism in today’s context.

As part of trying to dominate Asia and the world, the U.S. is also putting great pressure on Canada and other countries around the Pacific to purchase ballistic missile systems and sensors to be housed on their soil. The Canadian ruling class is obliging by whipping up hysteria about bogus threats from rogue missiles from the DPRK and the need for U.S. “protection” through the expansion of NORAD. In that vein, Vancouver is often cited as being in the path of hypothetical missiles from the DPRK and the choice of Vancouver to host the “United Nations Command Sending States Meeting” on January 16 is not by chance. Canadians, however, have always opposed attempts to have Canada join U.S. “missile defence.”

In 1983, Vancouverites declared their city a nuclear weapons-free zone, expressing the sentiment of the Canadian people that Canada’s territory be a zone for peace and disarmament. By choosing Vancouver to host the meeting, the government seeks to destroy this anti-war sentiment by whipping up hysteria that the west coast is the most vulnerable to a nuclear attack from Korea. Thus Vancouverites are pressured to identify their values with Canada’s national interest, which the government claims is to submit to the U.S. war machine for protection.

In co-hosting the January meeting with the U.S., it is evident that Canada is marching in lock-step with the United States whose president has already threatened to “destroy” the DPRK and unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” By its actions, the government is placing Canada more directly in the service of bullying and threats, something Canadians do not accept. For Canada to present its military expansion and phony diplomatic efforts as attempts to seek a peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula is unacceptable.

Edmonton picket and petition signing, November 25, 2017.

Source: TML Weekly, January 13, 2018 – No. 1

1 Comment

Filed under Asia, Canada, United States

One response to “Canada seeks expanded military role in Asia-Pacific

  1. Pingback: NATO setting sights on East Asia | Tony Seed's Weblog

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