Canada needs to start seeing Russia and China as ‘adversaries,’ says ex-CSIS chief

CBC News
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping CBC News | James Alexander Michie

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Canada needs to wake up to the threat posed by its geopolitical rivals and look for new allies as the United States withdraws from the world stage, says ex-CSIS director Richard Fadden. (Maxim Shipenkov/Pool Photo via AP)

Richard Fadden said Ottawa needs to acknowledge the United States is withdrawing from global leadership

Canada needs to be “clear-eyed” about the threat posed by Russia and China — and the power vacuum at the global level left by the United States’ growing isolationism — a former national security adviser to prime ministers told an audience of military and defence officials Friday.

“The risks posed by these two countries are certainly different, but they are generally based on advancing all their interests to the detriment of the West,” Richard Fadden, former national security adviser to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his predecessor, Stephen Harper, said in a speech to the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDAI) Friday.

“Their activities span the political, military and economic spheres.”

Fadden, who also served as the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and as deputy defence minister, made the remarks at the CDAI’s annual Vimy Dinner in Ottawa.

Richard Fadden, former national security adviser to the prime minister. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

He said his criticism was not political or aimed at any particular government, but was meant to prompt public debate about security and defence policies — a subject that was virtually ignored during the recently concluded federal election.

Both China and Russia have demonstrated they are prepared to “use virtually any means to attain their goals,” while the U.S. has effectively withdrawn from the world stage, Fadden said.

That emerging vacuum means Canada will have to work harder with other allies to address global crises at times when the Americans are unable, or unwilling, to lead.

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Source: Murray Brewster | CBC News

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