Glancing back at the Rideau Institute blog posts for 2015 gives some idea of the range of important foreign, defence and security policy issues with which we dealt.
We begin with the first of many posts on Canada’s grotesque $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia: Saudi arms deal makes mockery of Canadian values (Peggy Mason, Embassy, 21 January 2015). This is an issue which will test the seriousness of the new government’s commitment to human rights.
One of the most prevalent themes of 2015, and still very much on the front burner, is Canada’s role in Iraq (and now Syria): Peggy Mason: Countering Islamic State: A Failing Strategy (CCPA Monitor, 1 April 2015). See also Poll: Majority of Canadians oppose expansion into Syria (Tim Naumetz, Hill Times, 7 April 2015) and Blowback: Iraq war to Islamic state (20 August 2015).
On the hugely important issue of Bill C-51, here is my personal favourite (which inexplicably only appears on the Ceasefire.ca website): Mary Walsh takes on Stephen Harper and Bill C-51 (CBC television, 12 March 2015). The new government has promised Parliament will get a meaningful opportunity to review and amend (and we hope largely discard) this egregious legislation.
We have been calling for a full public and parliamentary review of Canadian defence and security policy since February of 2015. See A Canadian defence and security policy for the 21st century (Peggy Mason, Embassy, 13 May 2015). The Liberal government has promised some sort of review early in their mandate but we await details of its scope and public input.
In this Rideau Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives joint study, RI board member Michael Byers outlines a bold new approach: New study identifies more than $10 billion in savings on military equipment (29 June 2015).
In perhaps one of our most disconcerting posts, we draw attention to the massive nuclear weapons modernization programs now underway but little known to most of the global community: Why are all the nuclear weapons states modernizing their arsenals? (9 July 2015).
This is one of the most noteworthy GOOD news stories of 2015, with enormous ramifications for the future of global peace and security: RI President, Peggy Mason on historic Iran nuclear deal (14 July 2015).