Stephen Harper, The Gunboat Diplomat
Within seven days of becoming Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper has had a spat with the US Ambassador to Ottawa over Canadian claims to sovereignty over Arctic waters.
One cannot argue with either the sentiment behind or the validity of Harper's comments that,
"The United States defends its sovereignty, the Canadian government will defend our sovereignty," or indeed with with his comment that "it is the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."
However, for him to take the contentious step of sending military ice-breakers to the Arctic, a move which he knew or ought to have known would attract incoming from the Americans, and particularly when he has domestic alliances to forge in order to strengthen his new government, does rather smack of crass triangulation; the use of foreign policy as a tool for the gaining of domestic advantage.
If he keeps this up, official US-Canadian relations may well continue to sleep with the walruses.