Is neutrality a viable doctrine?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, leaving only a handful of European states claiming neutrality. There are questions about how their doctrines can be sustained without them becoming a security risk because of the likelihood that major powers could be less inclined to respect their neutrality. [node:read-more:link]

China-Russia power shift

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden said today that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s exploitation of his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has reversed their countries’ power balance. “Far from being put off by the atrocious and illegal invasion of Ukraine, President Xi is maintaining his ‘no-limits friendship with Putin’s Russia,” the German politician said. “But there has been a change of dynamic in the relationship.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign war memorials upkeep costs

Canada’s budget for maintaining 15 overseas war memorials, some nearly 100 years old, is $11.7 million over six years. Veterans Affairs Minister Laurence MacAuley said February 17 that most of the money is spent in France on the Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial. [node:read-more:link]

Putin distorts history

Russia President Vladimir Putin today likened his “special military operation” in Ukraine to his country’s fight against German invaders 80 years ago in the Battle of Stalingrad. “We are again being threatened by German . . . tanks,” he said, referring to Leopard tanks being sent to Ukraine by several NATO countries. He also said “those who hope to defeat Russia on the battlefield do not understand . . . that a modern war with Russia . . . won’t be limited to the use of armoured hardware.” [node:read-more:link]

RCN's Volunteer Reserve Centennial

One hundred years ago today, the Government of Canada authorized the organization of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. Since then, the Naval Reserve has played a critical role in Canada’s safety and security. Today's modern Naval Reserve includes some 4,100 members across Canada. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine needs “hundreds” of tanks

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said today that his country needs “several hundred” main battle tanks to mount an effective counteroffensive against Russia and reclaim Crimea. “Our goal is the borders of 1991 and punishing the enemy, who will pay for their crimes,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

China fomenting unrest Down Under?

Xiao Qian, China’s ambassador to Australia, said today that the country should be wary of strengthening ties with Japan because of the latter’s World War II attacks on the country’s north. “History might repeat itself,” he said in an apparent response to a comment by his Japanese counterpart, Shingo Yamagami, that Australia and Japan should remain “vigilant” about China. [node:read-more:link]

Serbian move on Kosovo blocked

NATO’s mission in Kosovo has refused a request by the Serbian government to send police and army personnel into Kosovo after a spate of clashes. “They consider that there is no need for the return of the Serbian army to Kosovo . . . citing the United Nations resolution approving their mandate in Kosovo,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said January 8. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. [node:read-more:link]

Cold War spy released

Ana Montes, arrested in the U.S. in 2001 for spying on behalf of Cuba, has been released from prison. Now 65, she was working at the time as a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and Michelle Van Cleave, then head of counter-intelligence said Montes had “compromised everything - virtually everything - that we knew about Cuba and how we operated.” It turned out that she was motivated by ideology, partly her opposition to U.S. activities in Latin America. [node:read-more:link]

Vimy Award speech draws mixed results

While retired Army Lieutenant-General Michael Maisonneuve received a standing ovation from senior serving officers at this year’s Vimy Award dinner, other members of the dinner found his November 9 speech offensive. In addition to broadsiding the government’s handling of several key policies, Maisonneuve excoriated divisive leadership, apologists, historical revisionists, social media and journalism in general. [node:read-more:link]

Juno Beach site to be preserved

A public campaign to save part of the historic Juno Beach battleground in France from condominium development is over after the Canadian government announced it would contribute $4 million to buy the land. The property is adjacent to the museum in which France honours Canada’s World War II contributions. [node:read-more:link]

Poland seeks $1.3 trillion from Germany

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has given Germany formal notice of a request for payment of the equivalent of US$1.3 trillion in reparations for Nazi damage during World War II. The announcement came on the eve of a security conference in Warsaw attended by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian military under new monarch

Queen Elizabeth II’s high regard for Canada’s military alliance was underscored today when nearly 100 personnel from all CAF commands participated in her funeral ceremonies today. The monarch was the ceremonial Colonel-in-Chief of 16 Canadian units, a relationship that will warrant a significant number of changes to reflect the accession of King Charles III. [node:read-more:link]

Poland wants massive German reparations

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s Law and Justice Party and the country’s designated Deputy Prime Minister, wants the equivalent of some US$1.3 trillion in German reparations for the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of his country. “We will turn to Germany to open negotiations,” he said September 1 after a long-awaited report on the financial impact of the occupation was released, and predicted it would be a “long and not an easy path.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia blocks nuclear treaty renewal

Annoyed by the inclusion of an expression of “grave concern” about Europe’s largest nuclear power station, in Ukraine, Russia has blocked adoption of a declaration by a delayed United Nations conference about renewal of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The accord is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, and participants in the previous review, in 2015, also failed to reach an agreement. [node:read-more:link]