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Canada Role in the Cold War Essay

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Updated: Oct 4th, 2020

In the article from the Globe and Mail, the main argument is that Canada, as an ally of the United States and the United Nations (UN) was inclined to support military activity in Korea during the Cold War. However, as noted in the source, Canada had no adequate armed forces to send, including ground and air forces. After reviewing the assistance provided by such countries as Britain, Australia, and others allying with the UN, Canada expressed the desire to help them as well. To summarize the reason for its inability to participate in military activity, the Canadian government declared that a lack of proper planning, or even a complete absence of planning, resulted in failure to equip and train soldiers and sailors.

At the same time, the article does point out that Canada had previously sent some naval destroyers to Korea. This action displayed the true intentions of the country’s government and showed that the lack of armed forces was not merely an excuse. However, it is also possible to interpret Canada’s actions as, to some extent supporting its role as a so-called middle power, in which it tried to act as a peaceful country and end the war in Korea with minimal intervention and the fewest possible causalities. This interpretation seems to fit the available evidence, as Canada had previously expressed its peacekeeping ideals.

The second reading presents the views of James G. Endicott, a Canadian clergyman, socialist, and missionary activist. His argument is that the path of peace, through the use of negotiation and debate rather than war, is the most appropriate and effective way to resolve conflicts. Endicott emphasized that war between the Soviet Union and the Western powers is likely to be inevitable due to ideological tension between them. As for the war in Korea, the clergyman noted that no Canadians were afraid that the distant country would attack them or cause them any direct harm.

However, if the government followed the US and the UN, it might send soldiers to Korea or China to suppress the local population, who were struggling to change the existing order in a legitimate manner. The author also emphasized the act recently approved by the UN about a peaceful resolution of conflicts, thus showing that the organization was not complying with its stated mission and ideals. More to the point, Endicott asserted that the Government pushed people to blindly follow its intentions. It is evident, he states, that some powerful groups were pursuing engagement in war and encouraging others to do so for the sake of their own profit.

Comparing the two readings, it is safe to assume that the one by Endicott seems to be more convincing and to make more sense. The author clearly highlights the mission of the UN and then shows that the organization failed to comply with it. Another strong point of his argument is that he focuses on Canadians and the country’s affairs rather than mere assistance to allies. Endicott clearly understands that neither Korea nor China presented a threat to Canada and therefore argues that there is no need to participate in or promote war, while it is possible to apply peaceful measures. Indeed, it seems that Endicott was confident that the appropriate conclusion is to call people to ponder the government’s actions. The fact that the author provides some financial information regarding armament costs shows that he is quite familiar with business issues and understands them well. In general, the arguments by Endicott are more informative, reasonable, and clear than those expressed in the Globe and Mail.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Canada Role in the Cold War." October 4, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/canada-role-in-the-cold-war/.


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