The Northwest Passage: Canada versus The United States Essays

The Northwest Passage: Canada versus The United States Essays

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When it comes to issues that are causing tension between Canada and the United Stated, The Northwest Passage is a big one. The issue concerning the passage’s status has receded and arisen in Canadian- United States relations for decades. Global warming in the Arctic has once again caused the passage way to come to the forefront of bilateral relations. Closely linked to U.S. adherence to the doctrine of freedom of the seas, Canadian nationalism, and to politics in both states, the two nations can no longer afford to hold opposing positions. Now is the time for Canada and the United States to move forward, while putting pride and politics aside, and return to the special relationship the two nations have held in the past. Doing this would be the beginning of a relationship where both countries gain meaningful and mutually beneficial continental security.
Canada is geographically the second largest nation in the world. It is surrounded by a different ocean on three sides and has the largest coastline of any nation in the world. It is a country who has international commitments. “These include being a member of the G-8 (Group of 8), a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a partner in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and an active participant in the United Nations,” according to Elizabeth Elliot-Meisel (2009, p.204). And yet, this nation only has a small population in comparison to its continental partner the United States, a nation with nearly ten times as many citizens. The Canadian Federal Government considers the Northwest Passage to be an important one due to the fact that both are Artic nations, maritime powers with blue-water navies, and states committed to maintaining continen...


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...s enemy. When it comes to pride and politics, there is a precedent for positive collaboration. For Canada, this means getting the greatest benefit from limited resources. For the United States, this means a return to the special relationship that once existed between the two. This can be done by way of renewed recognition of its continental partner and valued ally.



Works Cited

Briggs, P.J. (1990). The Polar Sea Voyage and the Northwest Passage Dispute. Armed Forces &
Society (0095327X), 16(3), 437-452.
Elliot-Meisel, E. (2009). Politics, Pride, and Precedent: The United States and Canada in the Northwest Passage. Ocean Development & International Law, 40(2), 204-232.
Parkey, J. R. (2012). Assessing Institutional Alternatives for Future Northwest Passage Governance. American Review Of Canadian Studies, 42(2), 171-194.

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