Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Renforcer le contrôle des exportations d’armes du Canada


Résumé


Le régime d’exportation d’armes du Canada contredit l’image que le Canada a de lui-même en tant que nation pacifique et progressiste. Maintenant que le Canada est sur le point d’adhérer au Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA), le gouvernement fédéral devrait envisager d’établir des critères plus précis concernant les risques que du matériel militaire canadien soit utilisé en violation des lois de la guerre ou des droits de la personne. En outre, il devrait proposer un cadre qui permettrait d’évaluer ce qui constitue une violation inacceptable et qui rendrait un acheteur inadmissible aux exportations (actuelles ou futures). Enfin, il devrait envisager d’aligner la position canadienne sur celle de ses partenaires et alliés européens en mettant fin aux exportations vers l’Arabie saoudite. 

Enjeu

  • Les gouvernements canadiens successifs se sont montrés réticents à refuser des licences d’exportation sur la seule base de considérations liées aux droits de la personne. Les critères d’évaluation du TCA obligent le gouvernement à refuser un permis s’il existe un risque important (c’est-à-dire un « risque sérieux » en droit canadien ou un « risque prépondérant » aux termes du Traité) que l’exportation entraîne la violation des lois de la guerre ou des droits de la personne.
  • Les gouvernements canadiens successifs ont eu tendance à produire des rapports inadéquats sur les exportations de produits militaires du Canada ainsi que sur le courtage d’armes au Canada et par des Canadiens dans d’autres pays. Les ventes de systèmes civils aux utilisateurs finaux militaires ne sont pas déclarées au Canada, tout comme les ventes aux États-Unis, principal acheteur de produits militaires fabriqués au Canada. Le TCA oblige le Canada à modifier ces pratiques et à accroître considérablement la transparence.

Contexte

Le TCA énonce les critères humanitaires selon lesquels les gouvernements membres exportent des armes classiques, qu’elles soient légères ou lourdes. C’est le premier et le seul traité juridiquement contraignant conçu pour réglementer le commerce mondial des armes, lequel représente plusieurs milliards de dollars. Le Canada sera le dernier État membre de l’OTAN et du G7 à adhérer au Traité, qui a été adopté par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies en 2013 et est entré en vigueur en 2014. L’adhésion comporte des modifications au droit canadien, plus précisément à la Loi sur les licences d’exportation et d’importation et au Code criminel, et ajoute de nouveaux critères pour évaluer les demandes de permis d’exportation, notamment des critères liés à des actes graves de violence fondée sur le sexe ou à des actes graves de violence contre des femmes et des enfants. Plutôt que d’interdire des accords d’exportation spécifiques d’aujourd’hui ou de demain, le TCA ajoute un palier international de responsabilité au processus décisionnel canadien sur les licences d’exportation, tout en obligeant le gouvernement fédéral et les exportateurs à maintenir un système de contrôle national plus transparent et à défendre publiquement leurs évaluations des risques.
L’industrie canadienne de l’armement compte environ 2 000 entreprises qui génèrent 6 000 emplois pour l’économie canadienne et 12 milliards de dollars de revenus. Environ la moitié de ces revenus proviennent de l’étranger et de la vente de produits et services militaires à des clients dont le bilan en matière de droits de la personne est alarmant. La vente à l’Arabie saoudite de véhicules blindés de fabrication canadienne d’une valeur de 15 milliards de dollars en est un bon exemple.
Selon les médias et les sondages d’opinion publique, ce contrat déplaît à de nombreux Canadiens, sinon à la plupart, pour des raisons à la fois éthiques, juridiques et politiques. Restant l’un des principaux auteurs de violations des normes internationales relatives aux droits de la personne, le royaume mène actuellement une guerre au Yémen, où une coalition militaire dirigée par les Saoudiens cible régulièrement des civils par des bombardements et des blocus. Cela est non seulement illégal en droit international, mais aussi une cause directe de ce qui est, selon toute mesure raisonnable, la pire catastrophe humaine actuelle au monde. De plus, le gouvernement saoudien s’est engagé dans de multiples différends diplomatiques avec le Canada et ses alliés. Les relations entre Ottawa et Riyad se sont effondrées en août 2018 lorsque la ministre des Affaires étrangères, Chrystia Freeland, a légèrement critiqué l’horrible bilan du royaume en matière de droits de la personne. Après l’assassinat choquant du journaliste Jamal Khashoggi au consulat saoudien d’Istanbul plus tard cette année-là, le gouvernement Trudeau a évoqué la possibilité d’un arrêt des futures expéditions d’armes vers Riyad.

Facteurs à considérer

  • Le TCA renforce la réglementation canadienne actuelle sur les transferts d’armes et d’équipement militaire. Le gouvernement fédéral est en mesure de renforcer davantage la réglementation canadienne en augmentant la transparence et en enregistrant les ventes de tous les produits de fabrication canadienne utilisés par les armées étrangères.
  • Le gouvernement fédéral s’est maintenant engagé à produire des rapports sur les exportations aux États-Unis de produits militaires complets, mais pas nécessairement sur les principaux sous-systèmes et composants construits au Canada qui sont régulièrement intégrés aux principaux systèmes américains et vendus à des utilisateurs finaux tiers.
  • En vertu de la nouvelle loi, le gouvernement fédéral est tenu d’évaluer toutes les exportations en fonction des critères d’évaluation du TCA, qui sont très variés, ainsi qu’en fonction d’un critère de risque sérieux.
  • La détermination de la nature des violations du droit de la guerre ou des droits de la personne reste politiquement délicate. Toutefois, le gouvernement fédéral est en mesure de limiter légalement le pouvoir discrétionnaire du ministre des Affaires étrangères d’approuver les exportations d’armes et d’introduire des critères plus spécifiques quant à ce qui constitue un risque sérieux dans des situations politiques telles que l’affaire susmentionnée des armes saoudiennes.  
  • À en juger par les déclarations du gouvernement et les sondages d’opinion publique, plusieurs alliés et partenaires du Canada ne veulent plus armer l’Arabie saoudite. Le Sénat américain a imputé l’assassinat de Khashoggi au gouvernement saoudien, et au prince héritier Mohammed bin Salman en particulier, tout en demandant au gouvernement américain de retirer son aide militaire à la guerre menée par les Saoudiens au Yémen. Les gouvernements du Danemark, de la Finlande, de la Suède, de l’Autriche et de la Grèce ont effectivement mis un terme aux futures exportations d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite. Le gouvernement allemand a également mis un terme aux exportations déjà approuvées.
  • En 2018, le gouvernement Trudeau a déclaré qu’il envisageait des moyens d’arrêter toutes les expéditions de véhicules de GDLSC vers le royaume, mais n’a fourni aucune mise à jour sur cette mesure depuis, ni fait de déclarations sur les exportations continues à destination de Riyad de fusils et autres équipements militaires fabriqués au Canada.
  • Le gouvernement Trudeau et GDLSC ont tous deux déclaré que l’annulation de la vente d’armes saoudiennes entraînerait des pénalités d’un ou plusieurs milliards de dollars que le gouvernement canadien devrait payer.
  • Les libéraux aussi bien que les conservateurs souhaitent maintenir le cap relativement au contrat des armes saoudiennes. Le Nouveau Parti démocratique, le Bloc Québécois et le Parti vert du Canada souhaitent l’annuler (le NPD a renversé sa position en 2016).

Recommandations

Le gouvernement fédéral devrait :
  • suivre les conseils des organisations de défense des droits de la personne et prendre des mesures supplémentaires pour accroître la transparence et améliorer l’enregistrement des exportations d’armes du Canada; cela s’appliquerait à toutes les exportations vers les États-Unis, y compris les sous-systèmes et les composants;
  • chercher à appliquer des critères stricts d’évaluation du TCA, y compris un critère de risque sérieux bien conçu, à l’égard des exportations d’armes du Canada; cela s’appliquerait à toutes les exportations vers les États-Unis, y compris les sous-systèmes et les composants;
  • élaborer un cadre pour évaluer ce qui constitue une violation inacceptable rendant un acheteur inadmissible aux exportations, futures ou actuelles;
  • envisager d’aligner la position du Canada sur celle de ses partenaires et alliés européens et de mettre fin aux exportations à destination de Riyad.
Publié le mercredi 14 août 2019 dans L'Impact uOttawa. Srdjan Vucetic 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Introducing Battle Rhythm: A CDSN Podcast



We have launched a new social media endeavor: a podcast!  Available here and here with more links soon to other outlets.  Stéfanie von Hlatky and I are co-hosting Battle Rhythm, one of the first outputs of the Canadian Defence and Security Network.  What is it and why are we doing it?  

The podcast will appear every other Wednesday (we hope--this podcasting stuff is not easy) on the CGAI Podcast network.  The Canadian Global Affairs Institute is a partner of the CDSN-RCDS, and a key contribution to our network is hosting our podcast.  We are aiming to keep each podcast under/around an hour.  The first segment will have us discussing defence and security stuff (Canadian and beyond) that is in news or otherwise worthy of our attention and falling somewhere near our expertise.  Stef will occasionally report back and comment on debates going on in Francophone defence and security studies.  Sometimes, we will chat about books we have read.
We will then have a short interview with an Emerging Scholar to present their research (which is usually further along at the cutting edge than established profs).   The aim will be to provide an outlet to the next generation, especially those from communities that have been underrepresented in previous generations.
The third segment will usually be an interview with someone who we have met along the way--Stef and I interviewed a number of folks who were at the Kingston Conference on International Security, she interviewed some at the Annual Workshop of Women In International Security-Canada, and I interviewed some of those presenting at ERGOMAS and EISS conferences in Europe this summer.
The penultimate segment will be "Steve's Peeves" where I audibly Spew about an issue that troubles me.  I am hoping to lure Stef into doing some peeving of her own, but she has much greater restraint than I do.
The last segment will be responding to listener questions, assuming we get some.

Why are we doing this?  First, one of the key missions of the CDSN is to provide greater visibility to various events in Canada.  By conducting interviews with those attending KCIS and WIIS-C (both run by CDSN partners), we help to extend the audience for those events both over distance and over time.  An event in Kingston or Toronto will largely get local attendees and those invited explicitly for the conference.  By giving some of these participants a potentially global (ambitious, aren't we?) platform, our podcast will extend how far the conference reaches.  Because podcasts, once put on a cloud somewhere, can be downloaded months or years later, it also means that the stuff presented at a conference can resonate beyond the week of the conference.  The CDSN effort aims to amplify and connect, and this podcast is a way to do so.

Second, while there are an increasing number of podcasts in Canada on defence and/or security issues, we think we have a different perspective that might be of interest. Both of us come at Canadian defence and security with a comparative perspective as well as the awareness of needing to keep in mind that Canada never operates alone.  Stef and I have both written on alliance politics.  However, our expertise is only overlapping and not identical, as she has an extensive background studying nuclear policy, US-Canadian relations, and gender policy in contemporary militaries.  My work is more on the domestic politics of civil-military relations, and my older work is on intervention and on the international relations of ethnic conflict.

Third, another explicit aim of the CDSN, and one that has been something the two of us have been doing separately, is to provide outlets for those who have lacked such outlets.  She started the Canadian branch of Women in International Security-Canada to give female scholars more opportunities to share their research and to provide more mentoring.  One reason why I started building the CDSN was to do the same for not just women but also people of color and indigenous voices. 

Fourth, despite the difficulties, podcasting is fun.  Doing the podcast gives me more opportunities to chat with Stef.  She is not only smart and dynamic, but she makes me laugh.  And, yes, doing a podcast means one more form of social media for me to play with.  Plus it gives us an excuse to track down and have extended conversations with interesting folks that we mostly did not know beforehand.  That is one way in which the first episode is not going to be a model for future podcasts.  I interviewed Dan Drezner for the first episode, and I have known him for nearly two decades.  Pretty much everyone else we have interviewed have been people we met for the podcast or met quite recently.  In sum, I like to talk, I like to talk to Stef, and I like to talk to people who are excited about their own work.  Hopefully, Battle Rhythm will be fun for our listeners as well.

All I ask is that you have some patience with us, as podcasting is not nearly as easy as it seems. And let us know via our twitter account @cdsnrcds or via email at cdsn-rcds@carleton.ca if you have suggestions, comments, or questions.  Again, we hope to have listener mail as a regular segment.  It has the potential to be the most interesting, funnest segment.  




The CDSN Thanks SSHRC!


We got the word from SSHRC in late April that it would be funding the partnership grant the Canadian Defence and Security Network had sought, but we could not talk about it.  We could operate, but we could not give credit to the funder... until now.  The Minister announced the results, along with other competitions (hey, co-director Phil, congrats!), so now we can give thanks to SSHRC for the funds.

And not just the funds for which we are thankful.  The partnership grant process required us to do a great deal of networking and leveraging. That each partner has to not just specify what it wants out of the partnership, but what it wants to put into it.  Indeed, the process requires partners to give at least 35% in cash on in kind to match the SSHRC funding.  Our partners went way beyond that.

While the Carleton publicity gave me heaps of credit, I need to make clear this was very, very much a team effort.  The folks who are now CDSN co-directors helped write heaps of draft documents (the application has more than 20 pieces), gave comments on drafts, met in August to discuss the Stage 2 application (it is a three stage process, with us making it past stage 1 the second time we tried), and helped bring along more than 30 partners.  Our partners had to grapple with the SSHRC website and with their own legal people to get a Memorandum of Understanding signed, so I will be forever grateful for them.  Our roughly 100 participants also had to do some SSHRC webwork, so I am thankful to them.  I had multiple RAs work on this project with us, doing much of the tracking and grunge work, so thanks!  The folks at Carleton, especially Kyla Reid, our grants facilitator, who knows this process and has brought several teams to success over the past few years, will be owed beers for a long time.  Our Dean, Andre Plourde, not only provided support and enthusiasm, but also served as a mock interviewer for the third stage of the process--a 20 minute interview.  Which reminds me that I owe Stéfanie von Hlatky and Caroline Leprince for kicking butt in the interview.  Twas a strange process, and they came through big-time.  Our VP for Research and his staff were also very helpful.

Now what?  Well, since we got the notice in late April:

  1. We had a meeting in Ottawa to develop the rules and procedures so that we operate well; 
  2. I have started distributing some of the money to the leaders of the five research themes; 
  3. I hired two great staffers in Jeffrey Rice, our project coordinator, and Melissa Jennings, our knowledge mobilization coordinator or comms person, and kept on Alvine Nintai, our excellent research assistant.
  4. Melissa built a webpage and staffed the twitter account and email address, and we now have a banner and stickers for the podcast!
  5. Stef and I started a podcast, Battle Rhythm, with two episodes out and one to be taped and dropped next week.
  6. The Co-Directors have started planning their first workshops.  Each of the five theme teams will be holding annual workshops to build focused research agendas.
  7. We supported the Kingston Conference on International Security and the annual workshop of Women in International Security-Canada.
  8. We (and by we, I mean Jeff) applied for several DND project grants to fund some of our efforts.
  9. I went to Europe to network with the European Research Group on Military and Society and the European Initiative for Security Studies to see if they want to join our network.
  10. We have added one new partner and are working to bring along a few others who have indicated interest.
  11. We just transitioned to a new Defence Fellow--a Canadian Forces officer who becomes part of the CDSN HQ team.
So, yeah, it has been a busy three months.  Our next steps will be to develop the goals that SSHRC wants to measure us by in year 3.5, and to help various partners with their events this fall.  It is not exactly all downhill from here, as years 2-7 will have a variety of activties that we are not doing this year (annual conference, summer training institute, book workshop, post-doc competition, etc).

We believed very strongly in this endeavor, that it will provide many collective goods to help the Canadian Defence and Security community, so we are most pleased by what we have accomplished thus far, and, finally, we can thank SSHRC for funding this effort.  

Monday, July 22, 2019

F-35 Sales Are America’s Belt and Road



JULY 12, 2019, 4:20 PM

Imagine a globe-spanning economic and security project—with a cost of over a trillion dollars and whose members encompass 46 percent of the global economy—designed to advance the interests and influence of the lead state, even as it binds the smaller ones into an asymmetric interdependence. Recipients get large economic rewards for participating, but they will find it even more expensive to extract themselves from the network in the long run.
Perhaps one day, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which by the most generous definition of membership encompasses 40 percent of the world economy in its sprawling infrastructure initiatives, will live up to this description. But the United States’ Joint Strike Fighter program, peddling the F-35 fighter jet, already does, something the recent brinkmanship between Turkey and the United States makes clearer than ever.

On Friday, Ankara received the first parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, which Washington says is incompatible with Turkey’s participation in the F-35 consortium. The Department of Defense has already stopped training Turkish pilots on the aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, and Congress is threatening to kick Turkey out of the program entirely. In the worst-case scenario for Turkey, the United States can apply various sanctions on the country under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, ranging from denying visas to restrictions on almost any Turkish arms exports to banning access to U.S. financial institutions.

The F-35, a highly capable fifth generation aircraft, has been rightly criticized for being over budget, long delayed, and burdened with design flaws. Yet the “jet that ate the Pentagon,” to use one critic’s biting phrase, has yet to lose out to any other fighter in any formal procurement competition. And whereas many countries can build a port, albeit not as cheaply as China, building weapons is different. No other country has yet built a high-end fighter like the F-35 at any price.

Modern fighters require thousands of subcomponents drawn from many different technologies and involving a dizzying supply chain. The upfront development costs of the F-35 are staggering and can only be offset by purchasing large quantities. And once a country has several F-35s in its fleet, switching to a (less advanced) competitor is unappealing. Meanwhile, laggard states—facing the prospect of potential rivals buying larger, more advanced jets—will be pressured to join the winning program, leading to market dominance.

China has been criticized for using Belt and Road-related debt coercively, for example by taking overa Sri Lankan port lease for 99 years after the country failed to repay a loan. And China’s Defense Minister recently confirmed that the initiative has a military component. But the F-35 program goes far further. It makes a state’s very security reliant on the United States for decades—and Washington uses that leverage. In 2005, it suspended Israel’s access to the program in retaliation for Israel selling drone parts to China. Israel quickly stopped those sales.

Turkey is even more dependent on the F-35 network, because its own aviation industry supplies a number of F-35 components. It would face major losses if the United States cut Turkey off for good. Whereas the Pentagon estimates that finding alternate domestic suppliers to replace Turkey will cause at most a few months’ delay, Turkish production lines will be unable to so easily adapt, putting at risk the $12 billion in component parts business Turkey expected. That figure may be a rounding error for the trillion-dollar F-35 program, but it is equivalent to eight years’ worth of all Turkish aerospace exports. Erdogan will thus pay a high cost if he crosses the United States and persists in his purchase of Russian weaponry.

Before the United States stopped sending F-35s to Turkey in April, Belgium ordered 34 planes, Singapore took steps to order 40 to 60, and Japan increased an existing order by 105, more than making up for Turkey’s 100. Meanwhile, although Italy’s governing Five Star Movement ran on a platform of canceling the program, it has since backed down. As Five Star’s junior defense minister reported to parliament in December 2018, “It is obvious we cannot deprive our Air Force of a great air capability that puts us ahead of many other countries.”

Relative to the fighter network, Belt and Road’s optimistic projections cover a larger landmass and more countries, and—crucially—the initiative brands itself as a generator of wealth and peaceful co-existence on a global scale. But Joint Strike Fighter membership provides its own benefits in terms of prestige, access to technology and subcontracts, and close security ties with the United States. Sovereign states will balance these benefits against the potential for dependency—and indeed which country they will have to depend upon. Perhaps Belt and Road wins out in the future, but the current reality favors the U.S. version.



Friday, May 24, 2019

Introducing the CDSN-RCDS

by Stephen M. Saideman, Paterson Chair in International Affairs, NPSIA, Carleton University

Today, May 24th, the Canadian Defence and Security Network (Réseau Canadian Sur La Défense and La Sécurité) kicks off! 


This is what our network looks like now!
We have built an excellent team of scholars and defence scientists to lead the effort and already have a terrific staff to do much of the heavy lifting and day-to-day management. In addition to that, we have so many partners who strengthened our application through the commitments they have made.   I am so very grateful for the work done thus far and the work to be done by our leadership team (David Bercuson, JC Boucher, Andrea Charron, Irina Goldenberg, Phil Lagassé, Anessa Kimball, Alex Moens, Alan Okros, Stéphane Roussel, Stéfanie Von Hlatky, and Srdjan Vucetic), the folks at CDSN HQ (Jeffrey Rice, Melissa Jennings, Alvine Nintai), the people at NPSIA, our dean, Kyla Reid--grants facilitator extraordinaire, other folks at Carleton including our VP for Research, and our partners and participants. 

Of course, as you are reading this, you are asking yourself: what is the Canadian Defence and Security Network and what is it supposed to do?  
It is a partnership involving academics at both civilian and military universities, units within the Canadian Armed Forces, elements of the Department of National Defence, think tanks, advocacy organizations, a survey firm, and more.  We have a set of common objectives:
  • To create a coherent, world-class research network.
  • To advance our understanding of defence and security issues.
  • To tailor research initiatives to provided evidence-based knowledge to inform policy-making
  • To improve the transfer of knowledge and data across various divides.
  • To improve the defence and security literacy of Canadians (and beyond).
  • To build the next generation of experts with an emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion.
How will we reach those objectives?  The CDSN will focus on five themes to coordinate research efforts--personnel, procurement, operations, civil-military relations, and security--while also providing resources via our headquarters to assist its members and its partners to collaborate and amplify their work.  

To provide an example, one can imagine an event organized by scholars in Kingston or Calgary.  The CDSN Headquarters (based at CSIDS at NPSIA) will help provide contacts to reach out beyond the networks of the organizers, it will help publicize the event through the CDSN's social media efforts (yes, we have some experience in that stuff), and then after the event, provide a repository for the data generated, the papers and policy briefs that are produced and spread the findings via our website and our podcast.  

Please note, despite our years of grant prep work, we are very much a work in progress.  Our first major event will be the Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS).  While that event has been a great conference involving not just Queens's Centre for International and Defence Policy but also the NATO Defence College and the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute and various CAF elements, we hope that the CDSN will help KCIS have a broader reach across Canada, and it will probably be our first podcast content!

For our first year, we will be focusing mostly on developing our infrastructure and figuring out how to help the various members of the CDSN community.  In years 2-7, we will have thematic workshops on our five areas of research; book workshops for junior scholars; post-docs; surveys of the Canadian public; network analyses; summer training institutes for scholars, military officers and policy officers; an annual conference; defence fellowships for military officers; and capital capstone events that will bring the best young presenters from events across Canada to Ottawa to present to defence policy-makers.

Our twitter account is: https://twitter.com/CdsnRcds.  The website will be announced in the near future, and we will certainly have facebook, instragram and other social media accounts that we will be announcing over the next few months.  Our logos are a work in progress, but this is what we have thus far:



If you are interested in joining our efforts or have questions, shoot us an email at CDSN-RCDS@carleton.ca.