Here’s an idea whose time might be coming: think-tankers in Canada and Australia are looking at ways the two countries may cooperate as Canada increasingly turns its focus towards Asia and the Pacific. A joint report from Canada’s CIGI and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute lays out the rationale:
For a long time, both countries’ armed forces have tended to follow trends initiated from Britain or the United States. But increasingly, with Britain and the United States taking a more constrained role in security affairs, Canadian and Australian officials are finding themselves the more vocal of the traditional English-speaking security partners. Finding themselves agreeing on a number of issues has caught some by surprise. Yet they have long had much in common, and the shared understanding and altered circumstances are pointing to a renewed interest in collaboration and cross-pollination to enhance regional security and stability.
This is a natural alliance, one that WRM has pointed to years ago. Australia and Canada are two mineral-rich exporters and developed economies with closely aligned interests and values in the Asian theater. Working together can give both countries more clout whether dealing with the US, China or any of the other powers in the region.Canada historically has focused its diplomacy more on Europe and through the medium of international institutions that reflected European assumptions, ideas and power relationships. But a rising Asia is pulling Canada’s attention to the Pacific, where greater activism and engagement will be very welcome to the Australians among others.Should the UK ever leave the EU, expect it to look for ways to engage more closely with the Queen’s overseas dominions. But in the meantime, closer Australia-Canada cooperation looks like a win-win solution for all involved.